Date: 2/10/18 8:04 am
From: Sandra Mc <jerseyb...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Chimney Swifts and towers
Hello All:

NJ Audubon installed a tower at I believe Scherman-Hoffman preserve and an update on whether it was occupied or not would be helpful. There is information out there on how to build swift towers and acting fast to get a community project building them before the birds return in April would be great.

Construction of replacement towers, learning about the birds and creating a interpretive sign would be a great project for scouts seeking their high awards, a challenging project. Often box stores will donate money for them.

People who know about swift roosts might try to educate their communities about known roosts, especially planning boards and other land use boards. Destruction of the roost during nesting season should not be allowed. I think the migratory bird act would come into play but who enforces it?

Last year, a Frenchtown neighbor and myself brought information about a Chimney Swift roost in a proposed redevelopment project to the attention of the municipal planning board. We supplied information about the birds, their nesting habits, migration etc. The folks had no idea the birds used the chimney or the nature of the use. Basically, no one knew the birds existed at all. With this information, not only did we educate the board about the birds but they required the developer to not remove the chimney and incorporate it into the redesign of the building. My wish would be to make the roost a focal point of the rehab - a micro mini nature center with a little camera - teaching the public about the birds.

We did this ourselves with the help of a woman (name escapes me and I don't have time to look it up) in north Jersey who rehabilitates birds including Chimney Swifts and provided resources for us and a website by a couple in the southern US who are highly involved in Chimney Swift preservation. It took lots of calls to local environmentally minded people to get them talking, but it worked.

Hopefully, when construction starts, the backhoe won't slip and knock the chimney down. . .

Sandra McNicol
Kingwood Township

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