Look up — look way up!

Perhaps the Friendly Giant was reminding us about the need to look way up to see the circling swifts!

The Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI) urges you to look up and help locate and monitor nesting and roosting sites in Manitoba during the coming season (May-September).

Volunteers are needed throughout the province, and they may choose a level of involvement based on their interest and availability:

  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 or dabblers – 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.

For all of the atlassers out there, please report any chimney swift sightings, especially from rural areas. Remember to include date, time, location, and number of birds.

So far, our project has identified active sites in Brandon, Carman, Dauphin. La Broquerie, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, and Winnipeg.

There are historical reports of sightings in the following locations, and we would value current reports from those areas:: Altona, Balmoral, Bissett, Delta Marsh, East St. Paul, Falcon Lake, Gimli, Mafeking, Morden, Oak Hammock Marsh, Pinawa, Souris, St. Ambroise, Stonewall, Teulon, Victoria Beach, Waugh.

Last year, we received informal reports of sightings in the following locations, and we would welcome details about any new sightings in Shilo, Souris, The Pas, and Wasagaming.

This year we will complete another season of nest/roost monitoring using volunteers, and we will continue to monitor our five artificial nest structures. 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.

Many references and forms for volunteers are available on the resources page of our website. Please take a look! There’s even a dashboard placard to identify you as a volunteer!

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch!

Thanks for your interest and support!

Frank Machovec
Project Coordinator, Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative
mbchimneyswift@gmail.com – 204-798-6275

Coming soon to a chimney near you

Spring has (apparently) sprung…

Well, it won’t be long until the Chimney Swifts return to sunny Manitoba. Based on past arrivals, we should expect them  in early- to mid- May. Once the swifts join us, we are looking for volunteers to check known sites or identify new ones.

Since 2007 our project has monitored swift activity in Brandon, Carman,  Dauphin,  La Broquerie, Portage la Prairie, Saint Adolphe, Selkirk and Winnipeg. Historical records and anecdotal reports suggest that there should be many more locations to be identified.

There are a number of potential roles for volunteers depending on your location and interests. If you would like to learn more about our project, please email mbchimneyswift@gmail.com or call Frank at 204-798-6275.

Mark your calendars
for our Chimney Watch at Saint Adolphe on the evening of June 4. Bring a chair and a pair of binoculars and prepare for some chimney-gazing at the Chimney Swift Capital of Manitoba. Meet at the parking lot near the Club Amical (344 Main Street in Saint Adolphe) at 8:00 PM. There should be swifts and the chance to win a rare Chimney Swift mug!

For more information and resources about Chimney Swifts and the Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative, check our website at www.mbchimneyswift.ca or watch this blog!

Frank Machovec