They’re back!

Our swifts are back, and reports are coming in from monitors throughout southern Manitoba. Reports have come from Morden, Portage, Dauphin, Carman, Selkirk, Saint Adolphe and Winnipeg.

We recently installed an interpretive sign near the swift tower in Saint Adolphe, and additional signs will soon be placed near the Portage la Prairie and Windsor Park towers.

A number of resources for monitoring are available on the chimney swift page of the Nature Manitoba website. These include descriptions of the monitoring protocols, forms, and guides to monitoring and interpretation of observations. Check out

There’s still time to volunteer! For more information call Frank at 798-6275 or email

Frank M

April 2011 Update

The chimney swifts should be returning soon, and we are looking forward to conducting another season of nest and roost monitoring.

The Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI) is looking for volunteers to help locate and monitor nesting and roosting sites in Manitoba for the 2011 season (May-September).

Volunteers may choose from three levels of involvement:

  1. Hard core – Volunteers who will commit to monitoring a chimney for at least one hour every week throughout the summer in order to collect high quality data on breeding behaviour and breeding success.
  2. Nesters and roosters – Volunteers to monitor known roost or nest sites on at least six occasions during the roost hour (half hour before and after sunset).
  3. Rovers – Volunteers who would like to help out on an occasional basis.  These volunteers will be used as substitutes when “hard core” volunteers are unavailable or for monitoring at suspected sites.

When you are in the field this season, please report any chimney swift sightings, especially from rural areas. Remember to include date, time, location, and number of birds.

In 2011, we will complete another season of nest/roost monitoring using volunteers, upgrade the appearance of existing tower sites with landscaping and interpretive signage, and we will conduct temperature studies at selected sites. Other plans include a media outreach campaign to improve public awareness of swifts, encourage new volunteers, and help identify new nest/roost sites or other places visited by swifts. In conjunction with researchers at Queens University, we will collect guano from sites for analysis of swift diet and possible environmental contaminants over time. We will also be publishing two reports: one on the use of wildlife cameras for remote monitoring of swifts, and another on best practices for the monitoring of swift sites.

The following resources are available on-line:

2011 MCSI Monitoring Form – PDF Format or Word Format
Chimney Assesement Form – PDF Format or Word Format

Thanks for your interest and support!
Frank Machovec
Project Coordinator, Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative