Citizen scientists needed for Halton SwiftWatch Program

Chimney swifts are beginning to arrive in Ontario for the breeding season after a long journey back from the Amazon basin. These iconic birds have declined by an alarming 30% in the past 14 years, and the Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club is seeking dedicated volunteers to join us in the Bird Studies Canada SwiftWatch Program. Our goals for the 2014 season are to continue monitoring known roosts, to find new roosts, and to raise awareness about this threatened species at risk.

The 2014 National Roost Monitoring Program is a continent-wide effort to study Chimney Swifts on May 21, 25, 29 and June 2. Our club will also host a Swift Night Out (date and place to be announced), where the public is invited to join us in observing the beauty of swifts gathering to roost in the evening.

If you are interested in volunteering with our Halton SwiftWatch Program or would like to know more, please contact Emily Dobson (put “SwiftWatch” in the subject line). To report sightings, please record your observations using the Online Data Form, available on the Bird Studies Canada website.

Check out this amazing video of chimney swifts in action:

And check out Don Scallen’s article on chimney swifts and swallows at In The Hills magazine online.

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