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Swift Night Out #1: English Village
August 11, 7:00 pm–8:30 pm
Swift Nights Out are back in Birmingham! Join us downtown as we enjoy the first 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.
Join us as we wait for sunset (7:38 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.
Meetup is at 7 p.m. at a large chimney in Mountain Brook’s English Village (approximately located at 600 Olde English Lane). Free, after-hours parking can usually be found on the street, or in front of the storefronts nearby. You may want to bring a lawn chair.
While we usually see more migratory activity during our September and October events, the August Swift Night Out helps us to get a good baseline for numbers as the season begins. 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 #BhamSwiftnado.)
Love swifts? Support our efforts to build Chimney Swift nesting towers throughout Birmingham.
Note: For those attending the West Alabama and Tombigbee River trip in the morning, making it to Mountain Brook by 6 p.m. might be tricky. Contact the Outreach & Communications Director if you need last-minute details on where and when to meet.
The trip leader
Birmingham Audubon’s own Sarah Randolph leads this trip. Email her, or call 205-719-3678 ext. 3, to RSVP.