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Swift Night Out #3

September 16, 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Chimney Swift roost in Birmingham. Photo: Greg Harber.

Please note: We’ll be skipping dinner this time and going straight to the viewing location at 6:30 p.m. 

Swift Nights Out are back in Birmingham! Join us downtown as we enjoy the third of three summer evenings with one of our favorite urban birds, the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica).

After these aerial acrobats have fledged their young and cleared out their nests, the entire North American population makes its way south to winter along the remote headwaters of the Amazon River. On their way there, they congregate in huge roosting flocks with as many as two or three thousand birds sharing a single chimney—numbers that make for a tremendous spectacle when they all pour into the tiny opening at once.

Chimney Swifts at Avondale Elementary. Video: David Fisher.

The details

We’ll meet up around 6:30 p.m. on top of a parking deck located just east of Kelly Ingram Park (1732 5th Avenue North, between 17th and 18th Streets). Once there, we’ll wait for sunset (6:52 p.m.), watch the swifts work themselves up into their nightly “swiftnado,” and then count the number of individuals who enter the roost. Best of all, the data we produce will help researchers at the Chimney Swift Conservation Association (chimneyswift.org) get a better sense of trends in eastern swift populations and the effects of climate change on these birds’ annual migratory cycle.

Binoculars are handy, but certainly not necessary, for viewing the swifts as they assemble in the skies above the chimney. If you’re a social media user, we strongly encourage you to share your thoughts and photos with the hashtag #BhamSwiftnado.

Love swifts? Support our efforts to build Chimney Swift nesting towers throughout Birmingham.

The trip leader: Greg Harber leads this event; his cell phone number is 205-807-8055 (day of the event only).


September 16, 2017
6:30 pm–8:00 pm
Event Category:


Alabama Audubon
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