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Chimney Swift Photo: Brandon Holden

SwiftWatch is a Citizen Science monitoring and conservation program that provides volunteers and community groups an opportunity to act as stewards for Chimney Swifts.

Historically, Chimney Swifts used large, hollow trees for nesting and roosting. As Europeans settled in North America, these habitats became scarce. Swifts adapted and began making their homes in chimneys, becoming an important member of our urban communities.

Chimney Swifts are once again facing complex challenges. Their Canadian population has declined by almost 90% since 1970. Their habitat is being lost as buildings are modernized and chimneys are capped, steel-lined, or torn down. Other factors, such as severe weather events and changes in insect abundance, are likely also affecting swifts.

Through SwiftWatch, volunteers and community members are filling critical information gaps and addressing key threats. Birds Canada and partner organizations are working with schools, home owners, building managers, chimney sweeps, and townships to maintain and protect these sites for our upstairs neighbours.

To find out more and to get involved in Ontario, contact:
ontarioswiftwatch AT

To find out more and to get involved in the Maritimes, contact:
marswifts AT

Already involved in SwiftWatch? You can submit your data here.

2023 National Roost Monitoring Dates

May 20 (optional)
May 24
May 28
June 1
June 5

Additional counts before, between and after the above dates are encouraged!

Stewardship and Outreach


How to be a good swift host brochure: Maritimes and Ontario

Swift-friendly property signs: Maritimes and Ontario (example 1, or example 2)

Chimney practitioner brochure

School SwiftWatch

Learn more about how you can help with information for landowners, managers, and educators. 

Volunteer Resources


Eastern Whip-poor-will Brochure

Stay in touch with Birds Canada