Swift Watch

Chimney Swift Fact Sheet
Chimney Swift Quiz – online
Chimney Swift Quiz – printable (two per page)

Each year, several thousand swifts amass downtown and at other county locations preparatory to migration to South America. Although swifts may use several chimneys in the area, most of them usually pick one. In the downtown area, sites of large roosts vary from year to year, and sometimes even week to week. In past years, they have been at a warehouse near Krankies, the Millenium Center, the Stevens Center and the old courthouse.

There usually is a very large roost of several thousands – yes, thousands – birds at Northwest Middle School. This is where we have held our Swift Watch  since 2011. This is a fantastic opportunity for members of Forsyth Audubon and the general public to witness one of the many marvels of bird biology and it’s a lot of fun for those of us who have been treading that path for a long time!

To learn more about Chimney Swifts and their migration, check out this Fact Sheet. Also, see www.chimneyswifts.org.

Throughout most of September, there are other opportunities to observe swift roosts in Forsyth County. They often roost at large chimneys at some our older schools, such as Northwest, Sherwood, Vienna, Lewisville and Speas, and at the old school in Clemmons. North Carolina School of the Arts has been another good location. As dusk approaches, the numbers build gradually as the birds swirl around in cyclonic fashion above the roost area and then quickly go down the chimney in a rapid stream. Simply awesome!.