Erin Brethauer

Chimney swifts

Posted in North Carolina, On Assignment, Wanderings by erinbrethauer on October 6, 2010

The chimney swifts are migrating through town on their way to Peru for the winter.  Watching them go into their chimney for the night is like watching a friendlier scene from a Batman movie.  In short, it’s awesome.

If you’re in Asheville, you’ll be able to see them until around Oct. 10th entering a huge chimney around dusk behind the Civic Center.  According to a nifty handout from the Driftwood Wildlife Association found here,

“Chimney Swifts historically nested and roosted in hollow trees.  As American pioneers moved westward across the continent, they cleared forests and removed the swifts’ natural habitat. The birds that Audubon called American Swifts became known as Chimney Swifts as they readily adapted to the masonry chimneys erected by those same pioneers. Over the decades, the range of the swifts expanded with the ever increasing availability of this new, man-made habitat. However, changes are again challenging this adaptable species.

Because they cannot perch like songbirds, Chimney Swifts must have deep shafts in which to raise their families and roost at night.  Today, just like Purple Martins, Chimney Swifts rely almost entirely on man-made structures for nest sites.”

You can find more info on the chimney swifts here. And the articles that ran in the paper are here and here.  Yeah nature!

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One Response

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  1. Kim Ginfrida said, on October 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Very cool.


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