[Ontbirds]Request for information on Chimney Swift Roosts
mcadman at uoguelph.ca
Fri Oct 8 09:42:45 EDT 2004
I'm involved with other biologists from Quebec and the Maritimes in
producing a Status report on the Chimney Swift in Canada for COSEWIC
(Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada), and am
hoping you can provide information on roosts in Ontario. Information on
roosts and their history can be useful in assessing the status of the
bird, and potentially in conservation efforts.
Chimney Swifts nest and roost in similar situations. Roosts can consist
of a large number of birds (over 2000 at one roost in Quebec!), but
there is only one nest in any one chimney. Therefore, if you have
observed more than about 8 birds entering a chimney or other such
location, that is likely a roost site and we would like to know about
it. Behaviour around a roost is distinctive, as described in this
extract from the draft status report: "On fine evenings, they gradually
close in on a chimney, flying in what appears to be a random manner.
However, as the time to enter comes nearer, the birds form a tighter
group and begin to swirl around the chimney while chittering and then,
as if on cue, they vanish inside, rather like a puff of smoke in
reverse. They may enter the chimney all together in one movement or in
small groups. In the latter case, the birds still in flight continue to
swirl around, attracting other nearby swifts with their calls, until the
last individuals rush in. Sometimes the birds enter the chimney directly
without displaying this behaviour. Just before they enter, they lift
their wings to break their flight and then let themselves literally drop
inside." In fine weather birds enter the roost about 10 minutes after
sunset, and leave at about the same light level in the morning.
What we need to know is:
General location of roosts: County or district. Describe location in
relation to nearest town, and/or provide UTM or lat-long.
Specific location of roost: Was it in a building, hollow tree, etc.
Address and/or name of building. Was it in a chimney? If not, what was
Number of birds using the roost?
Known history of use: What years was it used as a roost, and what dates
during the year.
Your contact information.
If you have ANY of the above information on roosts, I'd very much
appreciate your sending it to me at mcadman at uoguelph.ca.
Coordinator, Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas
Blackwood Hall, Room 211
University of Guelph
E-mail mcadman at uoguelph.ca
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