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CANCELED: Swift Night Out #1: Tuscaloosa
September 14, 2019, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm
UPDATE: Unfortunately, we are going to have to cancel our Swift Night Out in Tuscaloosa for Saturday, September 14th. Our Alabama SwiftWatch volunteers and staff have been scouting for the last month or two for roosting chimneys that house Chimney Swifts in T-town, and sadly, we’ve been unsuccessful. It appears most chimneys in Tuscaloosa that would be a suitable option for swifts are capped, or other things like new development have caused a decline in habitat for this species in this area. This is a great example of why bird-friendly building design is so important, and we hope to take this opportunity to spread awareness in the area (and throughout the state) encouraging UA and local businesses to uncap their chimneys. Please help us spread the word about Chimney Swifts and their habitat loss—maybe by this time next year, some will have uncapped their chimneys and we’ll be able to have another Swift Night Out! Learn more and support our conservation efforts at alaudubon.org/swifts.
Swift Nights Out are coming to Tuscaloosa! Join us as we enjoy our inaugural Swift Night Out in T-Town with one of our favorite urban birds, the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica). Don’t worry, Alabama doesn’t have a home game that weekend!
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.
Join us as we wait for sunset (6:58 p.m.), watch the swifts work themselves up into their nightly “swiftnado,” and then count the number of individuals who enter the roost. The data we gather will help researchers get a better sense of trends in eastern swift populations and the effects of climate change on these birds’ annual migratory cycle. All ages and abilities welcome!
The details: Meetup is at 6:30 p.m. at a large chimney TBD in Tuscaloosa by our Alabama SwiftWatch volunteers. You may want to bring a lawn chair.
Binoculars are handy, but certainly not necessary—the swifts are easy enough to spot 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 #AlabamaSwiftWatch!
Accessibility: Details coming soon
The trip leader: Birmingham Audubon’s own Lianne Koczur leads this trip along with Greg Harber. Her cell phone number is 413-262-1981, and his cell phone number is 205-807-8055 (day of the event only). Feel free to email us if you have questions.
Bonus: Prior to our Swift Night Out, we’ll have the opening reception of our Philip Henry Gosse exhibit at the Alabama Museum of Natural History on the University of Alabama campus from 4–6 p.m. Full details at alaudubon.org/gosse.
Love swifts? Support our efforts to build Chimney Swift nesting towers throughout Alabama. For more hands-on action and to help us scout for the chimney for this event, join our Alabama SwiftWatch program by signing up at alaudubon.org/volunteer.