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Chirping chimneys

At our neighborhood potluck the other night, someone asked me if we have swifts living in our chimneys.

All signs point to yes:

The first evidence of our avian amigos’ arrival this spring was the flutter of their wingtips behind the fireplace mantel each night around dinner time. Several weeks later we began to hear high-pitched chirps from the same location. “Adorable,” we thought, “there’s a mama bird and a papa bird and two or three baby birds living snug-as-a-bug in their chimney home just above our fireplace.”

But as the video demonstrates, mama and papa bird have been busy, if you catch my drift. For the past month, every night at dusk, a swarm of our feathered friends dances around the chimney before diving into it one-by-one just as the sun dips below the horizon.

As it turns out, this isn’t one birdie family. Apparently swifts gather and roost in large groups just before their migration to South America in the fall.

It’s probably mesmerizing and beautiful if that’s not your chimney sitting there in silhouette.

Note to self: cap chimneys this winter.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Leslie #

    Kind of creepy in a Halloweenish, Alfred Hitchcockish way.

    September 18, 2013
    • jrh #

      Yeah, scenes from “The Birds” are the first to come to mind. It’s actually really neat to watch (and hear), but a little alarming to know they’re bedding down in the chimney!

      September 18, 2013
  2. Many a time, I could not build a fire in my bedroom hearth because the swifts had invaded the chimney. That was in the 50’s and 60’s. Sounds like they have come back to roost!

    Zacki Murphy

    September 20, 2013
    • jrh #

      I think the great-great grandbirds of the ones you saw are here at their summer house!

      September 24, 2013

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