People passionate about nature

Chimney Swift Initiative

If you've found a bird in your chimney or fireplace please see our rescue guide here.

The Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) is a small, very agile, sooty-coloured bird with long, narrow, boomerang-shaped wings and a short, stubby tail. You often hear their pleasing chippering sound coming from high in the sky before you see them.

The Chimney Swift gets its name because it often roosts and nests in old brick chimneys, building a small stick nest which it glues to the rough chimney wall with its sticky saliva. Chimney Swifts are found in communities across southern MB, often returning to the same chimney every year. This migratory bird spends its winters in South America and returns to MB each year to nest, from mid-May until late August.

In April 2007 the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) listed the Chimney Swift as a Threatened Species, and it is now listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. The Chimney Swift is also listed as a Threatened Species under the provincial The Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.

The Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI) works to protect Chimney Swifts through a combination of monitoring, habitat stewardship, outreach, and research. MCSI’s objectives are:

  • Monitoring roosting and breeding Chimney Swifts;
  • Implementing stewardship initiatives, including the restoration of existing habitat and building of new habitats;
  • Conducting outreach with schools and communities, championing Manitoba’s Chimney Swift conservationists and giving public presentations.
  • Researching the biology of Chimney Swifts in Manitoba

We are always looking for volunteers to help monitor these interesting birds, no experience needed! If you are interested in getting involved or want more information, please email

MCSI Website

For more information about the project and Chimney Swifts, please check our web site.

MCSI blog

Check the blog for periodic updates on the project at

Chimney Swift Resources & Fact Sheets

Thanks to a grant from Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, MCSI has produced a set of 3 factsheets that highlight the continued plight of our friendly neighbourhood chimney dwellers and highlight the importance of continued conservation management.

Most factsheets are available in both French and English versions, and either as paper copies or on their website. There are links to the documents on the home and resources pages of the MCSI website: They intend that these can be given to landlords, property owners, school boards, church councils, in fact anyone with a building with Chimney Swifts!​

For a variety of other MCSI reference materials, best practices guides and forms for volunteers, please check out their Resources page.

MCSI is currently being supported by funding from Environment Climate Change and Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Nature Manitoba’s Bluebird Fund.

Nature Manitoba is pleased to be involved in this project to better understand the causes behind Chimney Swift population declines and hopefully reverse this trend.

Nature Manitoba members and members of the public are urged to become involved with this initiative!


Many thanks to all of you for your time and effort!