Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chimney Swifts

I thought it was time for another post on Chimney Swifts. I hadn't given them much thought recently. Every once in a while I will make a note to myself to go check up on them to see what they are up to, but then something always comes along and I forget. That is up until the past week or so when I have gotten 4 different emails from people who have found my blog through google doing a search on Chimney Swifts. Now I am used to getting emails on birds as magnificent as the Peregrine Falcons, so was perplexed that there was so much interest out there on these swifts.


The funny thing is that 3 of the emails came from Texas and the other from Florida. This naturally brought out the curiosity in me so I decided to check out the Texas Breeding Bird Atlas site to see just how common the swifts were in the state.


Link: http://txtbba.tamu.edu/maps/CHSW.HTM




Now let's compare that to Massachusetts.

Both maps look equally impressive until you compare the size of the two states and that folks explains the emails I am getting from Texas!

So, with that said, I decided to put together some links for all of you in Texas and other areas so you can learn about these impressive birds yourself. If you have them living in your chimney, you are very lucky as I would be thrilled to have your fortune! Anyway, I hope this helps.

The best site by far for information regarding Chimney Swifts can be found here: http://www.chimneyswifts.org/


Live Webcam Images of the swifts can be found here: For those of you who have these birds nesting in your chimneys and are thinking of putting up screening before they have finished breeding, I strongly suggest you see this with your own two eyes. Perhaps you will reconsider this a blessing of sorts, instead of a nuisance ;o)



And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't add a link to Cornell that will give you general information on the birds themselves.


So, with all that being said, I ventured out this evening to see how the Chimney Swifts in my neighborhood were doing. The last time I posted I had about 60 of these birds fluttering around my area and tonight there were eight!! My how so much changes in just a short couple of months. Just to give you an idea of how many swifts I had in May, I will include a link to the video I took.




And lastly, a Peregrine Falcon update. I saw one of the young attempt a kill today but she wasn't quick enough. It is so much fun seeing them all fly around downtown Worcester now. The Rock Pigeons who were out in full force are not out as much anymore due to nesting and common sense I am sure so it must be tougher for them to find a meal for such a large family. There is one female in particular who is going over to the Flagship Building and doesn't seem to like to stay still, much to her parents dismay. I am guessing she will be the first to hit the road and spread her wings if you will.


Until then, I am going to enjoy her every chance I get.


Take care everyone

5 comments:

Kelly said...

I love Chimney Swifts. We have a colony over at the abandoned Powder Factory. I love listening to them as much as watching them!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Kim, Interesting info on the Chimney Swifts.. I don't think I've ever seen one--although I did live in Texas for 12 yrs. (That was before I started birding.)

Those little Falcons are growing up fast---and learning from Mom and Dad. CUTE!!!!

Have a great weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Vickie said...

I love chimney swifts too. I see them mostly around my office where there are older homes nearby with chimneys. Delightful to watch and listen. And you are so fortunate to get these continued looks at the falcon family!

Diane Tucker, Estate Naturalist, Hill-Stead Museum said...

We have a declining population of Chimney Swifts here in CT. Not enough chimneys or hollow trees. I know where to find a small population in my town, and I see them fly over in Farmington. Great post on the "flying cigar" bird. I'll visit your blog again! Thanks, Diane Tucker, Estate Naturalist, Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT

Kim said...

Thanks all! I found the Chimmey Swifts for the first time last summer when I first started birding. Every night from June to Auguest was spend in my yard watching them as well as various other birds. After they left for the fall, the air was filled with emptiness and I missed their chatter!

Diane, thanks for the visit to my blog. It is so sad to see declining numbers of these birds due to unsuitable breeding habitat. I have actually considered getting myself one of those make shift chimneys they have over at chimneyswifts.org. My neighbors already think I am crazy, and this would only cement their theory of me even more! Love your blog by the way and will be sure to check it out more too. Take care.

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