Chimney Swift tower for birds installed in Kennesaw

Credit: Georgia Audubon and the Town Center Community Alliance

Credit: Georgia Audubon and the Town Center Community Alliance

Georgia Audubon and the Town Center Community Alliance, the nonprofit partner of the Town Center Community Improvement District (CID), have installed a 12-foot-tall Chimney Swift tower along the Noonday Creek Trail in Kennesaw to attract this vulnerable bird species.

Designed to mimic a chimney, the tower will serve as a roosting and nesting habitat for Chimney Swifts.

The artwork was painted by Atlanta-based muralist Christina Ward.

In addition to the tower, the site includes educational signage that highlights the value of the swifts and constructed towers.

Still a fairly common sight in metro Atlanta, Chimney Swifts have been facing a decline in their population since the 1950s due to chimney capping, tree removal, a decreasing supply of insects, and pollution.

This tower is the fifth one constructed by Georgia Audubon in the last couple of years with three more planned 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,” said 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,” Betuel added. “The Noonday Creek Trail has long been a location for free Georgia Audubon field trips.”

Chimney Swifts have specially adapted feet that allow them to cling to the inside of hollow structures such as these towers, according to a Georgia Audubon news release.

The swifts build saucer-shaped nests made of twigs that are 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 birds may roost in one large chimney, creating “a spectacular site” overhead as they flock into the chimney near dusk, the statement added.

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,” added Jennifer Hogan, director of the Town Center Alliance.

“We are looking forward to observing this remarkable site as the birds begin to call this installment ‘home,’” Hogan added. “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.”

Chimney Swifts are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Founded in 1997, the Town Center CID uses funds from voluntary commercial real estate taxes to implement its projects for transportation infrastructure, safety improvements, beautification and other projects that enhance property value.