- This event has passed.
Join Petoskey Audubon members on Wednesday evening, and observe Chimney Swifts return to their roost at the J.C. Penny’s Chimney at sunset. The public is invited to this free event. Bring a lawn chair to the park next to the Chamber of Commerce at 401 E. Mitchell across from J.C. Penney’s in downtown Petoskey.
People will start gathering there around 8:45 t- 9:00 p.m. The first swifts typically enter the chimney at 9:15 – 9:30 p.m. And the show is over by 10:00 p.m. Last year 30 people counted a total of 80 swifts going into the chimney.
This natural wonder takes place in downtown Petoskey each summer. Often mistaken for swallows, Chimney Swifts are busy birds that flutter and swoop to capture insects in town, along the Bear River and Little Traverse Bay. Unable to perch, Chimney Swifts spend most of their lives in flight.
As the name suggests, at night they often cling to the vertical sides of chimney interiors. Chimney Swift populations are in decline due to the disuse of chimneys across North America. Petoskey is fortunate to be the home of this useful and fascinating species.
The Chimney Swifts are Michigan summer residents only. In the fall swifts begin their 4,000 mile migration to South America by flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico.
The chimney swift spectacle goes unnoticed by most people. Here is a chance to amaze your friends and family with Chimney Swifts.