Audubon's Chimney Swift Tower Initiative

Did you see Chimney Swifts at one of our towers? Let us know about it!

Since 2013, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania has been installing Chimney Swift Towers throughout the region to support swift conservation. These unique structures mimic an actual chimney, serving as roosting and nesting habitat for the birds. The central tower is constructed much like a traditional chimney, and the interior walls of the tower provide perfect roosting and nesting opportunities. Most of these structures also feature a kiosk which contains educational information about swifts and swift conservation, as well as wayfinding, site information or community bulletin boards.

Through a variety of partnerships, we have installed almost 150 towers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Our Chimney Swift Tower monitoring initiative was launched in 2017. Please help us enhance our swift conservation efforts by reporting your observations at Chimney Swift towers and natural chimneys. If you know of a location that isn’t on our map, please email to add it to our database.

Because of their social structure, Chimney Swifts will not allow other birds (including swifts) to use the tower while they are nesting. They defend their nesting structure during the breeding season. So while a Chimney Swift Tower could be used as a roost by one hundred or more birds during migration, a single pair of birds will use the structure during the nesting season. Therefore, each and every tower we are able to build is critical in supporting the Chimney Swift population, and ensuring they remain relatively common birds in western Pennsylvania. Look for our Chimney Swift towers in municipal parks, county parks, and school grounds near your home.