The Northern Hoot is thrilled to host the Algoma SwiftWatch live video cameras! Tune in all day long –especially in the morning and at dusk, to watch the spectacular display of thousands of chimney swifts that have made the Sault Ste. Marie Post Office chimney their home. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE VIDEO FEED
Chimney Swifts Return to Summertime Home: Roosting in the Sault Ste. Marie Post Office Chimney
The spectacular presentation of chimney swifts in downtown Sault Ste. Marie has, until recently, only been appreciated by a handful of local naturalists and birders. But it is thanks to this small group that the opportunity to study these amazing little creatures and their fascinating behaviour has originated.
With their natural habitat –often large hollow trees, disappearing from the landscape, over the past many decades chimney swifts have adapted to manmade environments, finding roosting and nesting places in uncapped and unlined brick chimneys. For many years, thousands of these tiny aerial insectivores poured in and out of the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse chimney. A smattering of area birders faithfully gathered to watch the daily and nightly rituals every spring and summer. Thanks to their observations it was discovered that upon their return a few years ago, the birds were no longer entering the courthouse chimney. Investigation into the matter revealed that over the course of the winter the courthouse chimney had been capped at the top, preventing thousands of chimney swifts from returning to their familiar roost. Fortunately, the chimney swifts quickly found a suitable habitat not too far away- just across Queen Street in fact, in the Post Office chimney. The courthouse eventually removed the chimney cap but the birds have taken a liking to their new home.