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Swift Night Out: Birmingham


Chimney swift in front of the moon. Greg Harber.

October 8 , 6:00 pm 7:30 pm

Pre-registration is requested for planning purposes by 12 p.m. CDT on Thursday, October 7th.

Swift Night Out is back in Birmingham! Join us downtown as we enjoy the evening with one of our favorite urban birds, the chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica). All ages and abilities welcome!

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.

Together, we’ll wait for sunset (6:22 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 (chimneyswifts.org) get a better sense of trends in eastern swift populations and the effects of climate change on these birds’ annual migratory cycle.

The details: Meetup will be at 6:00 p.m. CDT at a chimney TBD in the Birmingham area. Location details will be announced about a week before the event as we scout for active roosts and the best viewing locations.

Binoculars are handy, but certainly not necessary, for viewing the swifts as they assemble in the skies above the chimney. You may want to bring a lawn chair. If you’re a social media user, tag us @alaudubon (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We strongly encourage you to share your thoughts and photos with the hashtag #AlabamaSwiftWatch!

In the case of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled. You may contact the trip leader the day of the event if the weather is questionable.

Registration: To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form. If you do have a login, please use it as this helps us tremendously on our end! You should receive an automated email upon registering.

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible and open to all abilities.

The trip leader:  Sarah Randolph will lead this trip. Sarah’s cell phone number is 205-422-4124 (day of the event only). Feel free to email us with questions.

Love swifts? Support our efforts to build chimney swift nesting towers throughout Alabama. For more hands-on action, join our Alabama SwiftWatch program by signing up at alaudubon.org/volunteer.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. We believe that the same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes the whole of our community to our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events open and accessible to all.