Audubon Society and Town Center partner on chimney swift tower on Noonday Creek

Noonday Creek Chimney Swift towerNoonday Creek chimney swift tower with mural by Christina Ward (photo courtesy of the Georgia Audubon Society)

The Georgia Audubon Society and the Town Center Community Alliance, the non-profit partner of the Town Center Community Improvement District (TCCID), partnered to install a 12-foot-tall Chimney Swift tower along the Noonday Creek Trail in Kennesaw.

According to the press release from the Georgia Audubon Society announcing the construction of the project, the tower is designed to look like a chimney, and will serve as the birds’ roosting and nesting area.

A mural for the tower was created by Atlanta muralist Christina Ward.

The site will also include educational signage about the value of swifts and towers.

The press release states:

Still a fairly common sight in the metro area, Chimney Swifts are being forced to respond to additional threats across their range—from chimney capping, to tree removal, to a decreasing supply of insects due to pesticides, pollution, and climate change. Other issues, such as building collisions and challenges on swifts’ wintering grounds are exacerbating population declines. This is the fifth tower Georgia Audubon has constructed in the last couple of years with three more in the works for the coming months.

“The Chimney Swift is one of Georgia Audubon’s current focal species, and we have been working with various organizations across the metro area to create habitat for this aerial insectivore,” says Adam Betuel, director of conservation for Georgia Audubon. “We were delighted to partner with Town Center to build this 12-foot tower, which we hope will not only provide nesting and roosting habitat for swifts, but also educate the many people who walk along the Noonday Creek trail about the importance of supporting these birds. The Noonday Creek Trail has long been a location for free Georgia Audubon field trips.”

The press release goes on to describe the characteristics of swifts that guide the design of these specialized towers:

The Georgia Audubon Society and the Town Center Community Alliance, the non-profit partner of the Town Center Community Improvement District (TCCID), partnered to install a 12-foot-tall Chimney Swift tower along the Noonday Creek Trail in Kennesaw.Chimney Swifts have specially adapted feet that allow them to cling to the inside of hollow structures, like these towers. The swifts build saucer-shaped nests made out of twigs glued together with the birds’ saliva. Chimney Swifts rarely allow other birds (including other swifts) to use “their” tower while they are nesting, but in late summer, hundreds or even thousands of individual birds may roost in one large chimney creating a spectacular site overhead as they flock into the chimney near dusk. In exchange for the roosting site, Chimney Swifts will provide natural pest control as each swift may consume up to 1,000 flying insects, including mosquitos, each day!

“Enhancing our greenspace is one of the pillars of our mission and this tower will do just that,” adds Director of the Alliance Jennifer Hogan. “We are looking forward to observe this remarkable site as the birds begin to call this installment ‘home.’ The Alliance and the Town Center CID both have a foundation of partnerships achieving impactful projects such as this, so we are grateful to be able to collaborate with Georgia Audubon to complete this tower.”

Since the 1950s, chimney swifts and other insect-eating birds have seen a population decline, according to the Georgia Audubon Society, and have flocked to urban areas with abandoned factories with smokestacks as an adaptation to changes in their environment.

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