[CT Birds] chimney swift roosts; make it known or keep to yourself?

Rubega, Margaret margaret.rubega at uconn.edu
Mon Jul 27 16:12:38 EDT 2015

Last week a birder from Niantic posted a message about discovering a chimney swift roost in Niantic, and asked whether she should publicize, or keep to herself? I encourage everyone to keep an eye peeled for these roosts, and when you find one, let the property owners, your fellow community members, and your birding compatriots all know.  Working with colleagues from CT DEEP over some years on swift populations in CT, it has become obvious that summer roosts are far more important than has previously been realized. The danger that the property owner will get nervous and cap the chimney can be mitigated by approaching them in the right way, armed with the right information, and in any case is less than the danger that they'll cap the chimney without ever knowing the birds are there. In the city of Willimantic, we let the town know that the town hall chimney held a roost, and they moved a boiler and uncapped the chimney in order to let the birds have it. Now the chimney is the focal point for a successful annual "Chimney Swift Beer Night" at the brewery across the street, and locals stop us to report on the number of swifts. 

Your reports of both roosts and occupied nest chimneys will be highly valued; enter them at a web form mounted as a collaboration of both the CT and Mass State Ornithologists, and Mass Audubon:


And a trove of useful information and downloadable materials from CT DEEP with which to educate yourself and others about chimney swifts can be found here:


Margaret Rubega

More information about the CTBirds mailing list