Make A Donation to Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society to Help Build One More Tower. Chimney Swift populations have declined by 70% since 1966. There are many factors contributing to this decline but one big reason is lack of habitat. Make a donation to WCAS to grow Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society efforts to build swift towers. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation in any amount.
Spring 2020 Chimney Swift Tower Update
By Amanda Sebrosky, Chimney Swift Conservation Society
The Covid-19 health crisis has been hard on all of us and that often includes projects that require close contact. Because the Chimney Swift Towers are so large, they require the help of a team of workers to construct and plant the tower. The hope is always that we can have the towers up by nesting season in early May but, as with trees, any time we can plant a tower is a good time since Chimney Swifts need a place to roost while they are in the area. Once a tower is discovered as a good place to hide, a pair may claim it as their own the next season since Chimney Swifts tend to return to the same area year after year.
We were fortunate to be part of placing the first tower WCAS funded in Royal Oaks Park in Grafton, Ohio. The Lorain County Metro Parks Natural Resources team braved the winter months to get their tower placed well before Spring. The location seems ideal; close enough that people can observe from 30 feet away and plenty of plant material to support the insects needed by birds. The open fields of the park provide open air devoid of wires and trees, giving the Chimney Swifts plenty of space to catch their food -- and when attaining speeds of up to 150 mph while catching an insect, space is good!
Chimney Swifts will only allow one nesting pair per tower. Some people say 'Why bother!' but I say 'All the more reason to build as many towers as rapidly as possible'. Chimney Swift populations have declined by 70% since 1966. There are many factors contributing to this decline but one big reason is lack of habitat. Originally, Chimney Swifts nested in hollow trees. With the decimation of the forests, they adapted to using chimneys. Now, chimneys are being capped or simply not built as heating-and-cooling technology has changed. This is one thing we can do something about in several ways by:
Chimney Swift towers were developed by wildlife rehabilitation specialists, Georgean and Paul Kyle of Texas. Wildly successful in the southern US, their towers seem less successful in the northern states. Scott Burnet, a naturalist with Lehigh Valley Audubon Society in Pennsylvania, has developed a tower that seems to be much more successful in the North. It has the same basic shape but has a larger surface area inside and a larger entry hole on top for the Swifts. At a cost of $1000, these towers are about 50% higher in price than the 'Kyle' towers but it's money well spent if the occupancy rate is improved.
The towers are easy to build, requiring minimal tools and carpentry skills. Free instructions can be obtained by emailing: email@example.com. We hope that citizens will be encouraged to build a tower on any open land they have or contribute to WCAS efforts to add sheltering habitat by donating at wcaudubon.org and earmarking it for ‘Chimney Swift towers’.
Make A Donation to the Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society
To Build More Towers
Chimney Swift populations have declined by 70% since 1966. There are many factors contributing to this decline but one big reason is lack of habitat. Make a donation to WCAS to help Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society's efforts to build more towers. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation in any amount. All donations are gratefully received.
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