[CT Birds] chimney swift question

Kearney, Shannon Shannon.Kearney at ct.gov
Wed Jul 18 10:44:18 EDT 2012

Hi Jan,
Based on most chimney swift records in Connecticut, they should "fledge" by the end of August at the latest, but birds can roost in chimneys through the end of September.   The birds need 21 days to incubate and then about a month to fledge.  If she does the math back to when she first noticed their return she may be able to figure out the expected fledging date for her birds.  The birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and so she legally cannot remove the nest so long as the birds are in it.    After they fledge, they don't need the nest, but the fledgling birds will return to the chimney each night and during the day to roost until they are ready to move to migration staging roosts (by September).

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like all will fledge given what she describes.  When the birds are healthy and alive, they don't create much of an odor- and definitely not enough to cause her to smell it without sticking her head up   into the chimney flue.  (I know this from sticking my head up into many chimney swift nests over the years). The odor should "go away" with just a little bit of time if she is patient.  If she would like, you can give her my contact information if she has more questions.


Shannon B. Kearney-McGee
CT DEEP Wildlife Division
PO Box 1550, 341 Milford St.
Burlington, CT 06057
shannon.kearney at ct.gov
Phone: 860-675-8130
Fax: 860-675-8134

More information about the CTBirds mailing list