During fall migration, Chimney Swifts roost together in groups that often number in the hundreds or more. In the evening, as the sky really begins to darken, the birds swarm to the roost site, circle, and begin to drop into their communal roost.
And what is their modern roosting habitat? Chimneys, of course! This genuinely exciting birding spectacle occurs right in the heart of Columbia.
Since we don’t have enough data to predict the date of peak numbers, we’re going to add a little citizen science to the mix and run the trip several times to monitor for any changes. Please also feel free to observe on your own on other dates and submit to eBird, report to the MOBIRDS listserv, and/or send a report to the field trip coordinators by email (email@example.com).
Meet at the Armory building at the corner of N 7th and E Ash. The chimney is best viewed from the parking lot to the east; this lot has Permit Parking Only signs, but we’ve been told that parking is allowable for roost watching after 6 p.m. Downtown parking is also available in nearby garages (free after 6 p.m.) and at meters (which must be fed until 7 p.m.). If advance scouting shows that the birds are using a different location, we may tweak the plans, so please double-check the web listing before showing up on site.
All birders, new and experienced, are welcome; why not bring a friend? Missouri Young Birder’s Club members are certainly encouraged to attend!
This trip: Friday, September 29 at 6:45 p.m. (sunset: 6:55 p.m.), led by Eric & Joanna Reuter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other roost-watch trips:
Read Joanna’s article on Chimney Swift roosts from the September 2023 issue of The Chat.