A group of people gathering in a parking lot at dusk in the middle of a city may be an odd sight to some. Further inspection showing that a few are donning binoculars can only spark more curiosity from onlookers. Unless, of course, you are a birder. That makes this just as normal as can be.

Recently around 30 of us did just this for a Swift Night Out. We gathered together in a parking lot at Smith Floral and Greenhouses in Lansing, all in the hopes of witnessing Chimney Swifts coming in to roost for the night.

This sizable roost was discovered by Michigan Audubon staff last year and has since only grown in popularity among these aerial insectivores that are sometimes mistaken for bats.

A whopping 2,364 were counted on Tuesday evening much to the amazement of those in attendance! (Sorry, for the lack of video or photos. We were too busy looking to the sky.)

Do you want to see Chimney Swifts? There are still a number Swift Night Out events around Michigan this September.

As a part of our Mi Bird-Friendly Communities program, Chimney Swift conservation will continue to be a focus of Michigan Audubon’s work. For more information on these efforts, please visit www.michiganaudubon.org/bfc/chsw/.