Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower

This week we are doing two presentations about the Chimney Swift family that occupied the newly restored Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower last year. The title is ‘Restore It & They Will Return”. All those involved in the restoration are hoping for their return.

Tomorrow at the Marshall County Conservation’s GrimesFarm Nature Center , those coming for the Brown Bag Lunch will see and hear the swifts we photographed over several weeks. The nature center also has a display of some of the photographs we made.

Then on Saturday, we will be at the Purple Martin Workshop near Kalona, Iowa. Purple Martins are members of the swallow family. Swifts are not. In fact, they are said to be more closely related to hummingbirds than to swallows. Swifts, like swallows are insectivores and consume thousands of insects. They feed their nestlings boluses of insects that they collect and store in their throats.

These were the last two chicks we saw in the Tower before they left for good. The juveniles made a number of practice flights before leaving for good. They may have come back at night before making the long journey to South America. Perhaps one will come back to help the parents with the next brood.

Start looking for Chimney Swifts here in Iowa in mid-April. We certainly will.

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