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Chimney Swift Conservation Project by ert634


									                                                                                                Chimney Swift tower built
   chimney swifts have declined                                                                 by the Mille Lacs Band of
   by about 50 percent over the                                                                 Ojibwe Department of Natural

                                                                                                                               Chimney Swift

                                                      credit jim williams
                                                                                                Resources, an Audubon
   last forty years, with the most                                                              Minnesota partner in Chimney
   precipitous drop within the                                                                  Swift conservation.

   last decade.                                                                                                                Conservation Project

Help Reverse the Trend                                                      Our Mission
■ Plant native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses                           The mission of Audubon Minnesota’s Chimney
  which attract more insects than non-natives. In                           Swift Conservation Project is to advance the
  fact, they support almost 30 times more insect                            understanding, appreciation, and conservation
  diversity than introduced plants. Chimney Swifts                          of Chimney Swifts by educating and engaging
  feed exclusively on flying insects, eating up to                          others with the goal of increasing Chimney Swift
  1/3 of their body weight per day. Insects are                             populations in Minnesota.
  especially crucial during the breeding season.
■ Allow swifts to nest in uncapped chimneys, but                            Chimney Swift Conservation Project logo
  close the damper to keep nestlings from falling                           by Carolyn Papke
  into the fireplace.
■ Clean your chimney in March before Chimney
  Swifts return from their wintering grounds.                                             This brochure was funded in
                                                                                          part by a Challenge Cost Share
■ Investigate the possibility of an alternative
                                                                                          Grant from the USFWS
  venting system if you are converting a furnace
  or hot water heater to gas, leaving the chimney
  unlined and uncapped for the swifts.
■ Encourage your neighborhood parks, schools,
  and businesses to consider building an artificial
  nesting structure. For information contact
                                                                             2357 Ventura Drive, #106
  Minnesota’s Audubon at Home Coordinator.
                                                                             Saint Paul, MN 55125
■ Participate in Audubon Minnesota’s Chimney                                 651-739-9332
  Swift Sit in August and September to help us                     
  better understand the distribution of migrating
  chimney swifts in Minnesota. Go to mn.audubon.
  org for details.
■ Work with local conservation groups like
  Audubon Minnesota to help raise awareness of
  the need for uncapped chimneys for Chimney
  Swift conservation.                                                                                                                       CHIMNEY SWIFTS
                                                                                                                                            Credit Rebecca Field
                                                                                                              Did you know that Chimney Swifts...
                                                                                                              ■ are unable to perch on a branch or wire
                                                                                                              ■ are among the fastest fliers of the bird world
                                                                                                              ■ spend all day in the air and come to rest only at night
                                                                                                              ■ gather twigs for their nest in flight, breaking them off as they fly by

                                                                                       credit rebecca field
                                                                                                              ■ feed exclusively on flying insects, eating up to 1/3 of their body weight per day
                                                                                                              ■ in “flocks” are also known as a “box,” “screaming frenzy,’’ and “swoop” of swifts

                             Natural History                                                                  thousands, of swifts may roost                                                              Changes in chimney
                                                                                                              in a single structure during                                                                construction and develop-
                             The Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) are often
                                                                                                              the non-breeding season and                                                                 ment of modern heating
                             referred to as “flying cigars” because of their short,
                                                                                                              especially during migration.                                                                methods have greatly
                             stout bodies and long, pointed wings. Their flight
                             is rapid and bat-like with swept-back wings and                                                                                                                              reduced nesting and
                             alternating with gliding. Although they are only                                 Historical Nest Sites                                                                       roosting sites for swifts.
                             about five inches long and weigh less than one                                   Chimney Swifts historically                                                                 Decreased availability of

                                                                                                                                                credit ron windingstad
                             ounce, they have a wingspan of up to 12 inches.                                  nested and roosted in hollow                                                                insects may also be con-
                             These swifts breed across much of eastern North                                  trees. Originally called                                                                    tributing to this decline.
                             America and spend their winters in Peru.                                         American Swifts, they became                                                                These recent trends have
                                                                                                              known as Chimney Swifts as                                                                  prompted Audubon
                                                                                                              they readily adapted to the                                                                 Minnesota and others
                             Unique Adaptations                                                                                                                                                           to undertake efforts to
                                                                                                              masonry chimneys erected by         Chimney Swift tower being built by an Eagle Scout
                             Chimney Swifts have long claw-like feet and stiff                                                                    of Troop 524 and the tower completed at the Aveda       promote Chimney Swift
                                                                                                              the settlers moving into their      Corporation headquarters in Blaine, Minnesota.
                             bristles on their tails that are used to cling to rough                                                                                                                      conservation.
                                                                                                              areas. Because chimneys were
                             vertical surfaces making chimneys ideal for nesting
                                                                                                              not used during the nesting season, they proved
                             and roosting. Only one pair of swifts nests in a                                                                                                     Audubon’s Conservation Efforts
                                                                                                              to be excellent substitutes for dead trees. In fact,
                             single chimney, although they allow non-nesting
                                                                                                              Chimney Swifts probably were able to expand their                   Audubon Minnesota has initiated a Chimney
                             swifts to roost in their chimney. Hundreds, or even
                                                                                                              range and numbers as they adapted to chimneys in                    Swift Conservation Project and is working
                                                                                                              areas not previously wooded.                                                           to educate those who have
                                                                   St. Anne’s                                                                                                                        chimneys about swifts and also
                                                                   Elementary                                 Chimney Swifts: A Declining Species                                                    to facilitate the building of
                                                                   School chimney
                                                                   in Le Sueur                                Chimney Swifts have declined by about 50 percent                                       structures specifically for use
                                                                   serves as a                                over the last forty years, with the most precipitous                                   as nest and roosting sites. By
                                                                   wonderful roost                                                                                                                   partnering with a number of
                                                                   site for Chimney                           drop within the last decade.
                                                                   Swifts with                                                                                                                       parks, nature centers, schools,
credit art and barb straub

                                                                   an estimated                               The International Union for the Conservation of                                        corporations, and individuals
                                                                   1,000 swifts
                                                                   being seen on
                                                                                                              Nature and Natural Resources, the world’s main                      throughout Minnesota in erecting Chimney
                                                                   one September                              authority on the conservation status of species,                    Swift towers (8-12 feet high), we are working to
                                                                   evening in 2008.                           recently elevated the threat category for these swifts              increase the numbers of available nest sites to this
                                                                                                              to “Near Threatened.”                                               wonderful species. ■

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