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Survey Seeks Info On Chimney Swifts At Your House

Wisconsin DNR- Nancy J. Nabak

Brick chimneys may be a key component to conserving acrobatic, fast-flying chimney swifts, so Wisconsin property owners are asked to report if their chimneys are currently being used by swifts. There's an online survey.

The swifts would nest in old-growth trees if there were any to find. As those trees disappear, the birds found brick chimneys a suitable substitute. The DNR would like to know how many chimneys are being used.

DNR biologist-zoologist Rich Staffen says the swifts are insectivores and those populations are declining...

"We're not exactly certain what the cause is for those declines. We think it's a number of factors Declining numbers of insects, loss of habitat..."

Staffen says there's also a loss of chimneys for the swifts to nest in, as people cap their chimneys or new chimney designs that are not as wide as previous versions. He hopes the public can take a few minutes and take the survey...

"Try to get an assessment if (the chimneys) are in disrepair and if they might need some dollars help maintain those in way that would continue to be suitable for chimney swifts to try to keep them on the landscape..."

Chimney swifts have slender bodies, very long, narrow, curved wings and short, tapered tails. They fly rapidly, with nearly constant wing beats, often twisting from side to side and banking erratically.

There's a link to the survey here.

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