For a fun and educational experience, join Forsyth Audubon at its annual one-night Swift Watch Tuesday, September 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Northwest Middle School (5501 Murray Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106)
Here are some links to set your swift bird IQ in motion:
Keep reading to find out what this is all about!
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!
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 Nortthwest, 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. Simpley awesome!.
If you find another large roost this fall, let us know! Chimney Swifts are threatened by a loss of roosting and nesting sites as old chimneys are torn down or capped. Audubon North Carolina would like to keep a record of migration current locations. If you find a new one, contact our Conservation Chair, Ga Baliga.