MDC hosts "A Swift Night Out"

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a chimney swift count at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Cape Girardeau on Sept. 13 at 7:15 p.m. The event is based on a nationwide research project called "A Swift Night Out," according to Steve Juhlin, Assistant Manager of MDC's Cape Girardeau Nature Center. The project collects counts from different groups across the United States as the swifts migrate south for the winter. The counts are used to track the birds’ migration patterns as well as try to keep an accurate count of the chimney swift population.

The Department hopes this event will get people involved in the count and educate them on chimney swifts and their role in the ecosystem.

“By combining this research opportunity with a public event, the Missouri Department of Conservation is helping people discover the nature of chimney swifts,” said Juhlin.

Chimney swifts travel in flocks that start off small but can grow to include hundreds or even thousands of birds. The birds winter in Mexico and South America and return north again in the spring. Chimney swifts are aerial predators that eat a variety of flying insects, according to the National Audubon Society.

For more information, contact the Cape Girardeau Nature Center at 573-290-5218 or go online to