One of my birding stops this morning was Lake Park in Milwaukee. I had went there with warblers on my mind but the excitement was the Chimney Swifts high above the tree tops at the park. 100’s of them present eating gazillions of gnat’s I would assume. I have seen swifts many times, usually at Lake Park, today I took a few minutes to photograph some of the action. Warblers species to note that were present Palm, Cape May, American Redstart, mainly Yellow-rumped Warblers. It was a beautiful morning out with plenty of sun, pleasant temps, a light breeze. Images were taken on September 24, 2018.
Can you see the Gnats??……………just speckles….Gnats, Gnats, and more Gnats…
Look hard….speckles, Gnats, Gnats, and more Gnats…
I had the opportunity to photograph unique situation of a nesting pair of Chimney Swifts in the silo at a barn in Ozaukee County Wisconsin today. When I arrived the landowner, Tom Uttech, who is a known birder himself directed me to the location at the bottom of the silo inside. The bird was flushed when we went in with the slightest nose we made, just touching cardboard. The amazing nest was built on the opposite side from where we were. It looked like it is glued to the inside wall of the silo and composed of small sticks, and not a very big nest. Tom left and in about 15 minutes an adult appeared fairly high up in the silo, I did not see it or hear it come in. It worked it’s way down to the nest kind of falling, fluttering and grabbing the wall at the same time. It went down just below the nest on the side and sorta flew into it. After about 15 minutes another adult appeared near the top of the silo again and also worked its way down. The adult on the nest flew out so fast I never saw it happen and the new adult replaced the one that was on the nest. My conclusion was they were incubating the eggs. When on the nest, they moved around in different positions as it looks like they were on different eggs on covering different parts of the nest. They each preened while on the nest but for the most part remained still, I could only see heart beat movements. One swift did some nest maintenance while on the nest. I asked the landowner how he discovered them? He said last year he noticed a couple of Chimney Swifts and bats too. this year he just thought he saw more Chimney Swifts. Then one day he went below the silo and looked in, it was a flush and he noticed the nest. He hoped the word gets out and everyone looks in silos to see there are more Chimney Swifts doing this. In the time I spent there a pair a Rock Pigeons showed up, made some odd sounds but peacefully left. See what the future brings with this, when will the eggs hatch? It was an amazing experience. Many thanks to the Tom Uttech for the opportunity to share this unique find with others. Images are not of the highest quality because light was very low and a flash was not used. Images were taken on July 18, 2016.
Binomial name: Chaetura pelagica
Size: 5.25” long, 14” wing span
Weight: 0.81 oz
The Chimney Swift drops down below the nest starting from the top of the silo, then it flies up into the nest
Chin up against the silo wall in a different location on the nest
Where the nesting is all taking place!
Just the nest