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[Monthly Meeting] The Ordinary, Extraordinary Chimney Swift

  • College Park Airport Operations Building 1909 Corporal Frank Scott Drive College Park, MD, 20740 United States (map)

The Ordinary, Extraordinary Chimney Swift

Although the hummingbird is the closest taxonomic relative to the swift, swifts certainly did not inherit the hummingbird’s “pretty” genes - but these plain, little birds are extraordinary in so many ways. The Chimney Swift is the only swift that migrates to the Eastern U.S., so Joan will discuss this particular species in regard to anatomy, speed, dexterity, nesting, and migration based on sixteen years of research and observation. During the Baltimore Bird Club’s migration swift watches, we have counted as many as 7,000 Chimney Swifts entering a roosting chimney in less than an hour!

About the lecturer

The first decade and a half of Joan’s adult life was devoted to studying and subsequently teaching medieval art history at the collegiate level. Naturally, she then spent the next three decades as a survey methodologist for health-related studies. In the decade since retirement, she has dedicated herself to birding, travelling extensively throughout North and South America for this purpose. She has been an active Baltimore Bird Club (BBC) member during this time, including a six-year tenure as President. For the past sixteen years, she and two other birding colleagues have sponsored spring and fall swift migration watches for BBC. Joan is the past committee chair and editor of MOS’s Maryland/DC Birding Guide (, and brought the Guide to life as a 


PGAS monthly programs are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, in partnership with the Patuxent Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society. There are no programs scheduled in July or August. PGAS members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and non-members are always welcome.

The formal program always begins at 7:30 pm, but doors open at 7:00 for informal conversation, refreshments, and exchange of birding news.  Each program opens with brief statements from leaders of both clubs about upcoming events, items of interest and other club business, followed by the featured speaker with a question-and-answer period afterwards.

The programs are held at the College Park Airport Operations Building, 1909 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD.