KDWP partners with Topeka groups to build safe haven for birds

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Thanks to funding from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ Chickadee Checkoff program, the dedication of Topeka Audubon Society members, and the ingenuity of staff and students at Topeka Collegiate School, chimney swifts – an often-displaced bird – have now been provided with safety and shelter.

Chimney swifts, a species in decline, are known for dwelling and nesting in chimneys. But not all chimneys are a safe, or welcoming, environment for this bird, if available at all. That’s why safe havens like this newly built chimney swift tower are so important.

“This is a prime example of the importance of partnerships and non-game programs like Chickadee Checkoff,” said Daren Riedle, KDWP wildlife diversity coordinator. “It’s really cool to see projects like this come to fruition, because everybody wins – especially wildlife.”

The chimney tower in Topeka follows in the footsteps of a similar tower that was erected at Humboldt High School, which has been known to house a colony of nearly one thousand birds at its peak.

Through tax-deductible donations to KDWP’s Chickadee Checkoff program, individuals and businesses can help fund wildlife research, habitat enhancements/restorations, and educational projects that benefit Kansas’ nongame species – projects just like the chimney swift towers at Topeka and Humboldt.

Consider contributing today, online at chickadeecheckoff.com/ or by mailing payment directly to Chickadee Checkoff, c/o KDWP, 512 SE 25th Ave, Pratt, KS 67124.

For more information, visit www.ksoutdoors.com/Services/Wildlife-Diversity/Chickadee-Checkoff.