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West Bend, WI 53095

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Quad 30 Bird of the Day

Friday, June 11th
Nebish, Minnesota


Chimney Swift

I think many birders just take this species for granted. I know that I do. Unless a BBS route goes through a city or village, swifts are usually seen at only a stop or two and then it often is just a pair. Once you've done a route for a couple of times, you begin to expect them at certain stops and hope you don't miss them. Today I had them at only one stop - 5 individuals.

BBS routes in WI average about 4 birds, and the population is stable - a non-significant 0.3% annual decline. In MN the decline is 1.2% and in both states, the decline is more pronounced over the past 2 decades. In the US the decline is 1.5% annually since 1966, and in Canada the annual decline is a scary 5.3%. Should something be done now to better understand this interesting species from a conservation perspective. The Driftwood Wildlife Association located in Texas is the only organization I know that is focusing on swifts. Maybe we should do a more thorough survey of chimneys used for roosting and try to conserve the important ones from destruction. This is just one thought and maybe the WBCI Monitoring Committee will take up this species.

The Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas found swifts in 58% of the state's quads, being less common in the northern third of the state. They were not easily confirmed as about equal number of quads had them as Possible, Probable, or Confirmed.

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