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 Chimney Swift

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Chimney Swift.

Use the links below to view the Chimney Swift reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Chimney Swift sightings.
Chimney Swift Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 60
Spring 2003 35
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 14
Summer 2002 703
Spring 2002 128
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 543
Summer 2001 14
Spring 2001 20
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 371
Summer 2000 309
Spring 2000 26
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 45
Spring/Summer 1999 2

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Chimney Swift

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Chaetura pelagica (Linnaeus)
Chimney Swift

Summer resident, common in many localities.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839 : 415).

SPRING.-Arrival is usually reported in southernmost counties during middle and late April, and in the Upper Peninsula during the second and third weeks of May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area the species has appeared as early as April 10, but on the average, individuals arrive April 23 and the main flight begins April 26 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 191, 204). The species arrived rather regularly at Detroit during the last week in April, according to Swales' notes. In the Ann Arbor region, as well as in Kalama- zoo County (Gibbs, 1885: 134; F. W. Rapp, 1931: 17), it has sometimes appeared by mid-April, though usually not until the last week of the month. In three seasons (1931 to 1933) at Sand Point, Huron County, this swift was fairly common "from about the middle of May onward" (earliest arrival: May 4,1932, 4 or 5 birds); each year some were still migrating until May 25 ("several dozen" in 1932-D. W. Douglass).

Upper Peninsula.-At Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, and Blaney, Schoolcraft County (Christofferson), and also at McMillan, Luce County (Bryens), only seldom have any Chimney Swifts arrived before the end of the first week in May; frequently none has appeared until the third week. It is not unusual for hundreds to be noted there-as on May 7, 1927, at Munuscong Bay (Christofferson). In 1936 at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, Brodkorb first observed the species on May 12; and in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 179), recorded it by May 10. This swift was apparently rare at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, where it was not noted until May 31 in 1931 (N. A. Wood, 1933:721).

SUMMER.-The eggs of the Chimney Swift are found in Michigan from early June to mid-July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales recorded in his notes an early set of 4 eggs collected by Jerome Trombley near Petersburg, Monroe County, on June 7, 1886. The species was listed as a common summer resident in Berrien County by N. A. Wood (1922: 16), and as an abundant summer resident in Kalamazoo County by Gibbs (1885:134). At Ann Arbor, Van Tyne saw an adult gathering nesting material on June 4,1937. N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 288) found 2 nests, each with 4 eggs, in northwestern Huron County in 1908, 1 on July 15 and 1 on July 16. C. F. Karshner collected a set of 4 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) in Mecosta County on June 30, 1896; Chaney (1910: 274) listed the species as abundant about the towns in Mason County in 1909; and A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case listed it as common on the Fox (1939) and Manitou (1940) islands, Leelanau County. In the Douglas Lake area, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have listed it as not very common.

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 23) found the Chimney Swift fairly common on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County; in Chippewa County, N. A. Wood found 2 nests (at Whitefish Point), 1 with several young on August 2, 1912, and 1 with 6 eggs on June 24, 1914; and (on Drummond Island) T. D. Hinshaw and T. Seaman each collected a nestling (U.M.M.Z.) on July 31, 1938. Christofferson, at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, has noted fledglings by July 4 (1938) and found a nest with 3 eggs as late as July 19 (1940). N. A. Wood (1918: 8) observed 2 pairs daily through the summer at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, in 1916; in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County, S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 179), listed the species as a fairly common summer resident. Four to 6 Chimney Swifts were seen daily at Golden Lake, Iron County, by John L. George, and R. L. Patterson in 1938; a few were seen in the latter part of the summer on Isle Royale in 1904 and 1905, and they presumably bred there (Max M. Peet, 1909: 357; N. A. Wood). N. A. Wood saw a pair at McCargo Cove, Isle Royale, on June 1, 1930.

FALL.-Movement in the Upper Peninsula has extended chiefly until late August and early September, and in southernmost counties of the Lower Peninsula until the latter part of September and early October.

Upper Peninsula.-F. M. and A. M. Baumgartner observed a flock of 6 at Rock Harbor, Isle Royale, during the first week of September, 1938, and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 179), recorded the species in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, until September 15. A "flock of some hundreds" that suddenly appeared on August 23, 1909, over Brown Lake, Dickinson County, and that shortly "disappeared to the southward," was obviously migrating (F. M. Gaige, 1914: 82-83). At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, and Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County (Christofferson), as well as at McMillan, Luce County (Bryens), Chimney Swifts have been seen regularly until late August or early September and occasionally until about mid-September.

Lower Peninsula.-In Convis Township, Calhoun County, a Chimney Swift was noted on October 5, 1941, by Walkinshaw (1941: 118). At Ann Arbor and also about Detroit (Swales, notes) the species has generally been found throughout September and frequently to the middle of October (12 at Ann Arbor on October 16,1939, and an individual 2 days later). In the Toledo-Erie marsh area the main flight has ended on the average on September 23, but has continued as late as October 17 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 191, 204).

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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