New bird habitat with tower for chimney swifts coming to Piedmont Park

Chimney swift

Chimney swift

A new bird habitat is being constructed on almost an acre site in Piedmont Park.

The “Bird-Friendly Habitat Educational Exhibit” will include a native plant garden and a chimney swift tower, according to the Atlanta Audubon Society, which is working on the project with the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Chimney swift populations have declined due to loss of tree cavities, AAS says, and their alternative nesting habitats — chimneys— are frequently capped. The tower will provide a nesting location and roosting site during migration, as the birds breed in Georgia during spring and summer.

Chimney swifts may eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects, such wasps and ants, per day.

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Seattle-based architect John Monnat and Decatur-based Stability Engineering’s Pierre Coiron are helping design the 24-foot-tall tower.

Educational programming, such as ‘Swift Night Out’ gatherings will be organized so people can observe large swarms of birds “pour into the chimney like smoke,” AAS said.

The habitat is located along Clear Creek in the Piedmont Commons area of the park. It is slated for completion in September.

The project is being fully funded by AAS through a private individual donation and a National Audubon Society grant.

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