Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Swifts Roost in Chimneys

An amazing sight!
© Thompson Rivers Univ. View Large

What could bring crowds of people out after sunset on a September evening to stare at  ... a chimney? Swifts, of course! Scores of swifts form a funnel-shaped cloud above the right kind of chimney, then they begin their descent. First one, then a few more, then dozens, then hundreds swirl right down into the chimney. You can help Chimney Swifts and Vaux's Swifts by providing a roosting tower. Check out Related Resources for more information.
Support for BirdNote comes from Song Bird Coffee, offering bird-friendly organic shade-grown coffees for over 20 years. Learn more at birdnote.org/songbird.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Swifts Roost – by the Thousands
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Sounds of crowds of people, gathering, some talking low]

Just what is it that could bring crowds of people out after sunset on a September evening to stare at …. a chimney?

[Twitter of Chimney Swifts]

Watch now. Here they come! [Voice of a child - Whoa!] Scores – perhaps hundreds – of small, dark birds whirling by, then forming a funnel-shaped cloud above the chimney. Now they begin to descend, first one, then a few more, then dozens, then hundreds, swirling right down into the chimney. Each bird goes in with its wings held high, as if parachuting, dropping inside to catch onto the rough interior, where it will hang until morning.

[Twitter of Chimney Swifts]

We’ve just witnessed a flock of Chimney Swifts enter their communal roost site for the night. These birds spend much of the year far to the south, in the Amazon basin of Peru. But in the spring, they head north, east of the Rockies, to nest. West of the Rockies, Vaux’s Swifts perform the same autumn ritual, before they head south to Central America.

The number of Chimney Swifts has dropped in recent years, in part because good old-fashioned chimneys are harder to find. You can help. Learn how you can alter an existing chimney or provide a roosting tower, to make swifts feel more at home. Begin at our website at BirdNote.org.

Support for BirdNote comes from Song Bird Coffee, offering bird friendly organic shade-grown coffee for over 20 years. Learn more at Birdnote.org/songbird.

###

Call of the Chimney Swift provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by W.L. Hershberger.
Ambient sounds by Kessler Productions.
“Spanish Crowd Chatting Sound” from “Immersive Ambiences: Europe Sounds Effects.” Airborne Sound Library: 2007.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org     September 2017    Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# CHSW-VASW-01-2014-09-11

Sights & Sounds

LEAVE A COMMENT

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Home
Shows
Galleries
More