Chimney Swifts

America's Mysterious Birds above the Fireplace

978-1-58544-370-3 Cloth
5.75 x 8.5. 152 pp. 41 color photos., 4 b&w photos., 28 line drawings., Map.
Pub Date: 02/22/2005
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From the curious sounds of baby swifts chattering in the chimney to the awe-inspiring sight of birds entering their roost at dusk, like smoke swirling back into the flue, Chimney Swifts have captured the imagination of many generations of North Americans.

These sleek birds with crescent-shaped wings and acrobatic flight patterns migrate to North America from the Amazon River Basin each spring to breed and raise their young. But by the late 1980s, changes in chimney construction and homeowner attitudes had contributed to a major decline in the numbers of Chimney Swifts. Authors Paul and Georgean Kyle have worked ceaselessly in an attempt to alter that trend.

The Kyles’ eight-acre homestead has become a world-renowned Chimney Swift sanctuary and research station, with more than a dozen Chimney Swift towers of various designs located throughout their property. The swifts return each spring to many of these towers, where they rear their young and where their home life is observed and recorded in previously undocumented detail.

In Chimney Swifts, the Kyles share the knowledge they have gained, providing readers with an unprecedented peek into the secret life of these beneficial, insect-eating birds. With a non-technical narrative, numerous photos, and original drawings, they explore Chimney Swift natural history and provide practical guidelines for homeowners to coexist peacefully with these remarkable spring and summer guests.

Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press