Atlanta Audubon installs bird-friendly habitat exhibit

Ground was broken recently for a Bird-friendly Habitat in the Piedmont Commons area of Piedmont Park, according to a press release. As part of a cooperative effort between Atlanta Audubon Society and Piedmont Park Conservancy completion is slated for September. Atlanta Audubon is planning a dedication ceremony to coincide with the inaugural ‘Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month.’

An urban haven for wildlife, Piedmont Park hosts more than 160 species of birds throughout the year. The Bird-Friendly Habitat Educational Exhibit will have two components — a native plant garden and a Chimney Swift tower. Both components will not only provide quality bird habitat in Piedmont Park, but also create new opportunities for interpretive education and wildlife observation while raising awareness about how urban greenspaces can benefit biodiversity.

Located along Clear Creek, the Native Plant Demonstration Garden in Piedmont Commons will provide high quality habitat for birds and wildlife and educate the public on the value of native plants. Consisting of an assortment of mainly native grasses and wildflowers, the garden will be a designed plant community that mimics the natural ecosystem and invites exploration by birds, people, and pollinators.

A common bird in urban areas, the Chimney Swift provides excellent — and free — pest control since their diet consists of flies, mosquitos, wasps, ants, and other insects caught in flight. A single Chimney Swift may consume up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects per day.

Atlanta Audubon is working on the tower design with John Monnat, a Seattle-based architect with extensive experience in parks and recreation, and Pierre Coiron, with Decatur-based Stability Engineering. After the tower is complete, Atlanta Audubon will collaborate with the Piedmont Park Conservancy to develop interpretive signage and educational programming, such as ‘Swift Night Out’ gatherings to observe the roosting birds. The Chimney Swift tower at the Piedmont Commons will stand 24 feet tall and be located in the center of the demonstration garden.

The project is being fully funded by Atlanta Audubon Society thanks to a donation from a private individual and from a National Audubon Society Burke Conservation Grant.