Our founder and licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Beth, is our expert when it comes to Chimney Swifts (Swifts). For 13 years now we have had Swifts living in Tower 1 at Stormy Oaks Nature Conservancy and Tower 2 (built in 2016) has had Swifts for 6 years. We are so excited to report the addition of a live camera to Tower 1. You can check out the live feed of our Stormy Oaks Chimney Swift Cam any time of the day or night. PixCams is hosting this camera.
The Stormy Oaks Chimney Swift Cam came about because when Dr. Jim Kellam, a professor at Saint Vincent College, began volunteering with us, he learned of our great fondness and expertise in rehabilitating injured Swifts. In an effort to expand Saint Vincent College’s reach in promoting ornithology, he brought together Stormy Oaks Nature Conservancy and PixCams in this joint effort. Having a live camera on our towers has been a dream come true for all of us. We can’t wait to observe and learn as much as we can about these incredible birds.
The eggs in Tower 1 hatched early in the morning on June 22, 2023. We are anxiously awaiting to see what 2024 will bring! Be sure to check out the live cam for updates!
Stormy Oaks Nature Conservancy, home of Wildbird Recovery, is committed to promoting conservation of Chimney Swifts. If you have a masonry chimney and would like to provide nesting habitat for Swifts, if you believe the noise in your chimney might be Swifts or you find an adult Swift in your house or babies in your fireplace, please contact Wildbird Recovery 724.898.1788 for help. We welcome the opportunity to educate the public about this species. For more information about the importance of Chimney Swifts and building your own artificial nesting site, please visit the wonderful website and advocates of the Chimney Swift at www.chimneyswifts.org.
We are fortunate enough to have a scout do his Eagle Scout project at our facility. He built us an artificial tower for the swifts to use for nesting. During the summer of 2011, we had our first nesting pair of swifts!
Many people, upon seeing a quick, small blackish bird flying out of the fireplace and into the living room, think they are seeing a bat. Here are some facts about Chimney Swifts:
- Spend almost entire day flying
- Closely related to the Hummingbird
- Cannot perch on branches, only on vertical surfaces like the inside of a chimney
- Catch insects only while flying, their beaks don’t allow them to pick up the insects
- Swifts usually return to the same nesting site and reunite with the same mate from the previous year
- Use their sticky saliva to “glue” twigs together for the nest
- One to two additional Swifts (usually relatives) help the parents to care for young
- Dexter, R. W. “Sociality of Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) Nesting in a Colony, “North American Bird Bander. 17-2 (1992): 61-64