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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin



Chimney Swift

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Chimney swifts are common to locally abundant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, fairly common in the Northern Highland. Because of their relationship with human settlements, this species is most frequently observed near villages and cities. Spring migrants begin to arrive about 30 April and peak abundance occurs 10-20 May. Fall migrants begin to form loose flocks during late July. Peak fall migration occurs between 25 August and 10 September and departure by 20 September (latest-5 October 1947).

Nesting Season Distribution: Breeding chimney swifts have been recorded in all counties of the Valley. Largest breeding populations occur in the Western Upland and Central Plain, where human habitation provides an abundance of nesting sites. Jackson (1942) reported that chimney swifts occurred regularly in the northern regions, even in areas removed from human settlement.

Habitat: Chimney swifts are most numerous in villages and cities where they nest in chimneys and abandoned buildings. Populations of breeding chimney swifts occur in the forested regions where they occupy hollow trees (Jackson 1942) and other natural cavities for nesting.

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