Target 30, the final 15

Thanks to everyone who has so far contributed to the monitoring program in 2017. It has been a very successful year with 76 sites monitored up until this date and of those, the vast majority being occupied by swifts. We are seeing plenty of breeding activity, in chimneys from Melita to St Francois Xavier. We have also added 9 chimneys to the database with 7 of these occupied.

We still need some help covering our 30 priority sites in communities across Manitoba. So far volunteers have checked on 15 of these sites, a very good number.

We still have 15 to cover, some have a nominated volunteer already. However if anyone is visiting any of these places, please feel free to do some extra monitoring. The priority sites are (with current monitors included):

Souris – Margaret, Millie, Liz and Louanne interested in going out to monitor
1. Rock Shop
2. St Paul’s United Church
3. 11 Crescent Avenue West
4. Bonus site – the museum always looks as though it should have swifts so worth a look


Clearwater – Ken may check during daytime
1. Memorial Hall chimney


Manitou – Cliff and Paul are checking. Janice and Gord did an evening of monitoring, counted 2 birds in the air but no entries or exits
1. United Church


Stonewall – Ken checking but feel free to drop in at other times
1. 336 Main Street


Selkirk – Selkirk Birdwatchers
1. East Hydro Stack


Winnipeg – St James
1. Chimneys on Assiniboine Gordon Inn at the Park – 2 chimneys
2. Bonus chimney – The Viscount Apartments, 1794 Portage near Cavell Drive
Winnipeg – Wolesley
1. 246 Home – Ingrid to do
2. 258 Burnell – Colin to do
Winnipeg – River Heights
1. 465 Lanark (site confirmed but 3 other chimneys in area to check – contact for more info)
Winnipeg – Osborne Village
1. Bonus sites – 424 River, 2nd check required on small chimney (contact for details)
2. Bonus sites – 415 Stradbrook, 2nd check required
Winnipeg – St Vital
1. Miller’s Meats, St Mary’s – Ron to check
Winnipeg – City Centre
1. King’s Hotel, 114 Higgins
2. 139 Market – Nygaard
3. 471 William – Cam to cover
4. 515 Waterfront, Vita Foam
Winnipeg – East Kildonan
1. Bonus chimney – Gordon King Memorial United Church
2. Bonus chimney – Roxy Lanes, 385 Henderson

Of course, there are many other opportunities to carry on volunteering with MCSI throughout the summer. You can carry on monitoring your previous site, or find a new site, or look at the database and see if there is another chimney which might take your fancy.

Finally it is worth asking what all of these observations mean. Rather than reinvent the wheel it seems more appropriate to point everyone to an excellent blog from Barb Stewart posted in June 2016. In this she explains about the behaviours you might be observing and relates everything to what is happening deep inside the chimney, invisible to the naked eye. This is really an excellent piece.

If there are any questions please let us know, otherwise happy swifting to one and all!


–Tim Poole

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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.