Join us for our family-friendly ‘Swift Night Out’ events in the fall. Watch chimney swifts swoop and soar over their roosts and then count them as they enter their chimneys. Mark your calendars to come help us with this citizen science project to document the numbers of chimney swifts migrating through Houston.
What to bring: A folding chair if you prefer to sit, and mosquito repellent! Binoculars are optional (the swifts are visible with the naked eye as they enter the chimney).
Swift Night Out at Pershing Middle School
Co-sponsored by the Nature Discovery Center, Houston Audubon Society, Whole Foods Market-Bellaire, and Pershing Middle School.
Date: Friday, August 24
Time: 7:45 pm
Location: Meet us in the Pershing Middle School parking lot. Use the parking lot entrance off of Stella Link, just south of Bellefontaine St. Go to the back of the parking lot on the north side of the school and look for the big chimney. At the end of August and early September we typically count over 500 Chimney Swifts at this location.
Whole Foods Market-Bellaire will provide refreshments.
Swift Night Out at the Nature Discovery Center
Co-sponsored by: Nature Discovery Center, Houston Audubon Society.
Date: Friday, September 7
Time: 7:15 pm
Location: Meet us at the south end of Russ Pitman Park by the playground and parking lot off Evergreen Street for special activities and information about chimney swifts just before the count. A great advantage of this site is that the chimney swifts fly right over your head and it is easy to get a good look!
The Nature Discovery Center will provide light snacks and drinks.
Swift Night Out at Lakeview Elementary (Sugar Land)
Co-sponsored by the Nature Discovery Center and Houston Audubon Society, Whole Foods Market-Sugarland, and Lakeview Elementary School.
Date: Friday, September 14
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Join us at Lakeview Elementary (314 Lakeview Dr. Sugar Land, TX 77498 – Map) for special activities and information about chimney swifts. Last fall there were over 1,100 swifts counted at this Lakeview Elementary site event!
Whole Foods Market-Sugarland will be providing refreshments.
Swift Night Out in Spring Branch at Sky High Sports
Co-sponsored by the Nature Discovery Center and Houston Audubon Society.
Date: Saturday, September 15
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Join us at Sky High Sports, 10510 Westview Dr, Houston, TX 77043 for special activities and information about chimney swifts.
Swift Night Out at Kleb Woods Nature Center
Date: Friday, September 28
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Join naturalists at the Kleb Woods Nature Center, 20303 Draper Rd, Tomball, TX 77377
For More Details: Check out their calendar at http://cal.pct3.com/About/Calendars/Kleb-Woods-Calendar
Nationwide Swift Night Out
Sponsored by the Driftwood Wildlife Association, this is a nationwide event to help promote awareness of swifts. It is held annually in late summer. The procedure is very simple: find a large roost of Chimney Swifts and estimate the numbers that enter it in the evening. For more information, to report sightings, and to see a map of last year’s results, visit the Swift Night Out webpage.
Tips on Counting Swifts by Paul and Georgean Kyle: When counting Chimney Swifts at roosts, the numbers can become overwhelming — especially as the numbers continue to climb as we move toward fall migration over the next few weeks. What we have found to work quite well is to use an athletic lap counter. These are available at most sporting goods stores. You can tally without taking your eyes off of the swifts.
When the numbers of swifts are relatively low, a direct count can be made — one click per swift. At sites where the numbers exceed several hundred (or the entry rate is high), make one click per 10 swifts and multiply the end number of clicks by 10 for the total. It works really well if several counters can average their counts at the end.