Chimney Swifts’ Progress

The Chimney Swifts in the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower  are making progress since our first of the season post on May 28. The nest is not as well constructed as last year’s but as of yesterday had 4 eggs.

On June 5 the nest was a little bigger than our first visit though the construction looked a bit rough. It had one egg in the nest and one broken at the bottom of the false chimney.

The broken egg was a sad sight but must have triggered more construction.

The birds then added to the very small, rather flat nest so eggs would be less likely to roll out again. On June 8th the nest while still rough was a bit larger and more cup shaped.

It also had two eggs. We were unable to visit the next day but Barbara Boyle reported that there were 3 eggs in the nest when she checked. Then on the 11th we found the nest had a few more added sticks and 4 eggs. It was not until we had several images over the last week that we can see that they continue to build while the female laid several more eggs.

With 4 eggs in the nest, a rail (top image) has been added to the three sticks protruding here when there were two eggs.

We also are experimenting with our LED flashlights to see what happens with the light when different peek holes are used. Lighting without unduly bothering the birds when they start to incubate will have to be done cautiously.  We think we will cover two of the exterior windows in the tower while we photograph through the window that Miss Sherman used to observe. That will keep the area behind and beside the one using the window darkened. The rubber lens hood will cover the peek hole on the south wall of the “chimney”.

We will wait several days before visiting to let the pair establish their incubation routine undisturbed. Miss Sherman observed the Chimney Swifts both day and night and had visitors in the tower. We learned last year that the birds came to accept us as part of the tower, so we hope this nesting pair does so. Of course, they may add another egg or two before incubating. All we can do is wait and see.

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