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Chimney Swift Towers

New Habitat for America's Mysterious Birds

By Paul D. Kyle

Publication Year: 2005

Chimney Swifts, birds that nest and roost in chimneys, have been historically abundant in North America. But by the late 1980s, the number of swifts migrating to North America from the Amazon River Basin had declined. A growing number of people across North America are now constructing nesting towers and conducting Chimney Swift conservation projects in their own communities. With Chimney Swift Towers, concerned bird conservationists have a step-by-step guide to help them create more habitat for these beneficial, insect-eating birds. Chimney Swift experts Paul and Georgean Kyle give directions for building freestanding wooden towers, wooden kiosk towers, masonry towers, and other structures. Included are - design basics, - lists of materials needed, - useful diagrams and photographs, - and detailed instructions on site preparation, tower construction, installation, and maintenance. Anyone with basic woodworking or masonry skills and an interest in wildlife conservation will find this publication helpful. That includes do-it-yourselfers, homeowners involved in creating backyard habitat for wildlife, landscape and structural architects, park and wildscape managers, wildlife management area professionals, nature centers, garden centers, scout troops, and other civic organizations in search of community service projects.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series


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title page

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p. 5


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p. 7

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An Overview of the Chimney Swift

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pp. 13-18

"TO UNDERSTAND THE HABITAT requirements of Chimney Swifts, it is important to know something of their character, behavior, and breeding..."

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Tower Construction Basics

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pp. 19-25

"WHEN CONSTRUCTING TOWERS specifically for use by Chimney Swifts as nesting and roosting sites, you must take into account the following..."

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Wooden Towers

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pp. 27-66

"ALTHOUGH CHIMNEY SWIFTS currently nest most commonly in masonry chimneys and air shafts, they evolved to nest in hollow trees. Therefore, their saliva is best suited to gluing their nests..."

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Masonry Towers

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pp. 67-81

"BECAUSE CHIMNEY SWIFTS now commonly use chimneys rather than hollow trees as nest and roost sites, it makes sense to consider masonry construction when building new habitat for them."

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A Conservation Plan Using Multiple Towers

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pp. 82-83

"CHIMNEY SWIFTS are very social birds except when nesting is involved. A large tower may attract multitudes of swifts, but there will only be one active nest per structure per year. For multiple..."

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Monitoring Roost and Nest Sites

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pp. 84-88

"WE OFTEN SAY that observing Chimney Swifts is “a pain in the neck.” This is literally true because most of their activity takes place high above treetop level. One must be constantly looking up to..."

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Site Report Form

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pp. 89-92

"It is important to gather as much information on structures that were not used as on those that were. By comparing the characteristics of both categories of structures, we will learn which new features are important to the nesting success..."

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p. 93

E-ISBN-13: 9781603445900
E-ISBN-10: 1603445900
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585443727
Print-ISBN-10: 1585443727

Page Count: 96
Illustrations: 36 b&w photos. 13 line drawings.
Publication Year: 2005

Series Title: Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series
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OCLC Number: 826660045
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Chimney Swift Towers

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Subject Headings

  • Chimney swift -- Housing.
  • Towers -- Design and construction.
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