Empty Nest & Empty Chimney

Today when we reached the observation landing in the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower, we heard a rustle of wings and then silence. We checked all the peek holes and the observation windows and saw no one. Then we cracked open the door to look up at the sky. All of the chicks are now airborne.

The chicks are 27 days old today. Chimney Swifts often fledge when they are 26-30 days old. Last year’s chicks were a bit slower to fledge. This year’s group came out of the nest and onto the wall a few days earlier. And it seems that they were all out for the day. They probably will roost in the false chimney at night, along with their parents and perhaps a few more, for several weeks.

Toward the end of August they will congregate into larger flocks using larger roosts. They will head south in September, joining groups that left from further north as early as late July.  Eventually they will spend the northern winter in the upper Amazon basin of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

Next spring we hope a pair will return to the tower. As Emily Dickinson is so often quoted – Hope is a thing with feathers.

One Response to “Empty Nest & Empty Chimney”

  1. Mary Says:

    Have you ever had a pair raise a second brood? Are visitors allowed at the site? I am a novice bird watcher and have become fascinated by the Chimney Swifts I observe in Sauk City, WI and would love to visit.