Here’s the latest!

Firstly, I apologise that we have not responded to emails this week. I am currently on an IBA trip to Churchill and very busy. But thank you everyone who has got back to us so far, it is much appreciated. Some of you have asked ‘what next?’ We will answer that over the coming days. We still have a final MCSI night on Friday and would love it if as many of you could get out to monitor as possible. 


Swift with twig

Here we come to the end of the National Roost Monitoring Program 4 nights and with one single MCSI night to follow on Friday before Chimney Swift monitoring anarchy raises its head (more to follow on post formal night monitoring in later blogs), here is the latest news from Manitoba swiftland.

 Before completing a summary of Tuesday evening and the latest monitoring results, we need to revisit NRMP#3 to complete the picture from that evening. We have to start at the Moorgate on Portage and Jane. Jane monitored the Assiniboine Conservatory chimney in 2015 and saw nothing. In 2016 she took on a site in Charleswood and endured more zero counts. For NRMP#1 she looked at the Deer Lodge and did not see a single bird. Skipping ahead to Thursday, Jane recorded a fantastic 14 entries – a much larger roost at this site than previously recorded. I hope the wait for a top chimney was worth it Jane! The number rose to 16 for the final NRMP with multiple entries and exits as well – maybe some nest building in that roost?

 Luc had his usual pair at Saint-Jean-Baptiste but of more interest was the total of 5 birds in the air. More mystery as Luc has previously searched all over town for chimneys. Blaire continues to see swifts in St Norbert but including Tuesday evening, they are not using the only known chimneys at the church and Behavioural Foundation. Strange – as with Luc, Blaire has kept a strong eye out for chimneys over the past couple of years. She still had birds but no entreis ont he final NRMP evening. Garry has also confirmed a pair in his Watt Street sites.

 In Selkirk, all 3 chimneys are now occupied, pairs in the small chimneys and 7 in the large roost – down on previous years at a time when the large roost at Assiniboine School seems to be about to burst, something for the MCSI stat bods to ponder.

 To last night and Ken in Dauphin sent in his report as follows:

 ‘Well, it was exciting but at the same time disappointing tonight watching for swifts. I had one of the local guys organize an observation night tonight for geocachers and had 6 extra people. We saw a slow increase in numbers from 3 to 6 but when it came to birds going down the chimney, it was so dark, only Jan saw 1 go down none of the others!’

 What a night to throw a spanner in the works from the swifts!

 In La Broquerie, David had his 2 church pairsbehaving like a bunch of love-sick teenagers’. His extra birds seem to have moved on since Thursday and there was no activity around two new chimneys in town.

 Cam saw nothing at the Elan Design site except a pigeon nesting on the chimney but John was back up to 2 at McDermott. 4 volunteers managed to score swifts entering 7 chimneys in Osborne Village. Lauren, following 3 zero counts in the West End moved to the United Church and lucked out with 1 swift entering the chimney and a pair swooping into a structure on the side of the church which doesn’t even look like a chimney! We are investigating. Marie-Eve finally had an entry with 1 swift at the Rosemount, a new site. Tim also scored a swift on a new site, 1 at 424 River. Earlier in the evening he also caught 2 disappear into 100 Roslyn and 3 into the Biltmore en route to 424 River. Luck! Pat completed the set catching 4 entries at 321 Stradbrook. A great evening then for everyone.

 Jenny had a nesting pair at the Hampton Church rear chimney but nothing in the side chimney. Kelly-Anne also had 2 swifts on Academy. Badal counted 5 swifts in a very active chimney at the Flag Shop on Pembina. 

 Barb and Rob watched two chimneys at Lanark Gardens, Barb reported that

 ‘I had entries and exits at 465 B (nest building!) but all of the swifts were in the air at curfew!’

Frank and Jacquie returned to Otterburne and recorded 2 swifts in each chimney. Christian also counted 2  swifts into one of the Melita chimneys. Gord reported from Portage that:

 The number of swifts in Portage has dropped by half, with the most birds seen in the air at one time being five. Cal was at Trinity Church and had three entries. Janice had one entry at the MTS building. I was at Red River College and had two entries at the revamped chimney.’

 Diann and Cam in Lac du Bonnet still had a pair at the physio but not at the inn. There is still an extra pair in town to sleuth and Diann also had a swift in Pinawa. Maybe a chimney to find there. Margaret and Millie had 4 entries in the Orange Block on June 1st in Brandon but dropped down to 1 on June 5th. In St Francois Xavier, Mike and Michele had a very active evening as a pair of swifts were actively nest building. They asked if this was good news – oh yes it was!

On June 6th Valerie and Bob had a very active roosting hour with multiple entries and exits from their active swifts

 Thanks you everyone who participated in the NRMP. Again it would be great to get as many folk out for the final formal MCSI roost count of 2017. We also have the Assiniboine School Swift Watch on June 13th at 8:30pm

 Happy swifting!


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The Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI) aims to understand the causes behind the decline in Chimney Swift populations and help reverse the trend.