Date: 6/5/18 7:35 pm
From: Fran M <franmmmk...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET 2300 Chimney Swifts in Hyde Park - Saturday 6.2.18
This past Saturday, June 2nd, I spent a few hours in Hyde Park, and had
dinner at dusk at The Promontory restaurant, 5311 S. Lake Ave W. The food
here is excellent; we sat on the patio, and after a few minutes I noticed
Chimney Swifts circling across the street. I observed for close to an hour,
and took 14 videos between 7:49 pm and 8:35 pm. I estimated the counts of
swifts entering the chimney by slowing down each video and counting the
birds per minute, and then extrapolating for the time I was there. The 2300
is a conservative estimate. Below is one of the 14 videos (iPhone); I have
another with more birds entering, however, the audio includes the server
calling them sparrows, and then bats, and then claiming he's a beginning
birder.....anyway, this is a less distracting 25 second video, although not
as comical:

On 10/20/2009, I counted 3340 swifts entering a chimney behind the Evanston
Police Station. In this instance, I had a scope focused on the chimney
entrance and was able to count by 10's the number of swifts entering. If
you've never seen this behavior, it's pretty amazing. It seems the birds
gather until they have a decent number, then begin swirling, and on some
queue, they drop in. Other times they circle, but none of them drop in.
Once a group is in, more birds gather and the process begins again. The
exception seems to be that the "really late" birds just show up and go
right in, almost like they know they're late.

Fran Morel
Evanston, Cook Co.

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