Historically, Chimney Swifts nested in hollow snags across eastern North America but quickly took to residential chimneys as a replacement, from whence their common name is derived. The birds are actually quite nice to have around for homeowners as they feed on thousands of small and annoying flying insects per day. Unfortunately, chimney caps and screens have become more prevalent as some homeowners either don’t want swifts nesting on their property or don’t understand that caps can have an effect on locally nesting swifts.
Wake Audubon partnered with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences to raise the funds to install a permanent Chimney Swift Roost Tower at the Museum’s Prairie Ridge facility. This Roost Tower provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research on roosting, and will also provide a viewing area for the public to enjoy this annual spectacle.
We collected donations through our Buy a Brick for Swifts campaign. “Buy a Brick” donations supported the construction of the tower and viewing patio, and will support swift research, and provide viewing opportunities of both nesting and roosting swifts. The tower and viewing area were designed by award-winning architect Frank Harmon. Donated bricks are part of the viewing platform at the Prairie Ridge site.