Building A Swift Habitat

Chimney SwiftsBob Hartman, left, and Dan Smith, right, have undertaken a first time project for themselves. They are building a Chimney Swift Tower. Both men are members of the Little Red River Audubon Society. This project is a joint venture with the Van Buren Master Gardeners and the FFB Community Club. Lynn’s Ready Mix donated the concrete needed for the pad and Clifton Bolden, contractor, donated his time and equipment to help level the pad.

Chimney Swifts, historically, have nested in hollow trees, but as the American Pioneers moved westward, they have destroyed those Swifts’ habitats. More currently, Swifts have used chimneys to nest and over time home owners started covering the openings with screen, again reducing their habitat.

Swifts are migratory birds, wintering in the Amazon Basin in Peru and they come to the states in early March and leave in early November. Nesting begins in May and can continue into August.

Females lay three to five white eggs in a nest of twigs, glued with saliva, attached to a verticals surface. Both parents catch flying insects “on the wings” and feed their young. Feeding continues until fledging takes place within 30 days of hatching.

To learn more about Chimney Swifts, log onto www.chimneyswifts.org.

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