Sunday, July 7, 2013
The weirdness of Chimney Swifts
Today, as essentially all days between late March and this time of year, I heard a Chimney Swift twittering over my house.
There are several weird things about this species:
1- I have seen many thousands over my 40+ years of birding, but have never seen one perched/alighted. That is because they only do so in tree hollows, chimneys, and similar places.
2- call me crazy, but they give the illusion of alternately beating the left and right wings in flight.
3- for some odd reason, I have never seen or heard of a communal roost anywhere in Greater New Orleans. This is when hundreds (sometimes thousands) gather in the evening to enter a roost chimney, which they approach by swirling around it at dusk in a huge mass, and filtering down inside. I have seen it elsewhere many times, and it is very fun to watch. They are often mistaken for bats in such situations.
Anyone out there in the audience know of a communal roost site? Please let me know- it would be worth mention here and in Birding Made Easy-New Orleans.
There is more about swifts on p. 80 in Birding Made Easy-New Orleans.
for a copy of Birdin Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for it in the Maple Street or Garden District Book Shops.