The Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society (BLAAS) will host a Community-wide Chimney Swift Sit at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Laestadian Church, 1501 S. Eighth St., Brainerd.
Have you seen the Chimney Swifts doing their aerial acrobatics? Each evening dozens of swifts dive into the depths of the Laestadian Church chimney as darkness descends. Many people think they are bats or swallows. At last year’s first sit-in in July, 101 swifts were counted diving into the chimney.
At the second annual event, participants will watch and count as the birds display and drop into the chimney. Bring binoculars and a chair.
Chimney Swifts are veracious insect eaters who fly non-stop from morning to night. They are incapable of perching like other birds, but have claws and spines on their tail feathers that enable them to cling to the rough interior of the chimney where they roost during the night.
Chimney Swift populations in Minnesota have declined 54 percent in the last 40 years. This is due mainly to the loss of suitable homes as old chimneys are knocked down and homeowners are lining and capping their chimneys, making them inaccessible to the swifts.
Individuals and organizations can help the swifts by leaving chimneys open where feasible and by constructing “fake chimneys” to replace the ones demolished.
This event, sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jennifer Lust at 218-825-1010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.