Chimney Swifts are small insectivore birds that naturally nest in large, hollow trees. As their name might suggest, they have adapted to nest in large chimneys with open tops. Chimney Swifts feed all day and return at sunset to roost together.
Chimney swifts have been endangered in Nova Scotia since 2007. Since 1968, the Canadian Chimney Swift population has declined by 95%! One thing we can do to help these birds is to monitor their roosts when we find them.
Luckily for us, Chimney Swifts nest in a chimney behind l’Église Saint Bernard! During the nesting period, we can watch at sunset as hundreds and hundreds of Swifts come back and fly into the chimney. It’s an amazing thing to see and definitely worth a visit!
We participate in the Bird Studies Canada Swift Watch program. A few times from May to June, we count our Swifts at sunset while they come back to roost. We combine this data with other roosts in Nova Scotia to learn about things like population trends.