Enhancements for Wildlife at ACNW
The Audubon Center of the North Woods is unique in that our535-acre sanctuary encompasses a variety of habitats including old-growth red and white pines, hardwood forests, restored wetlands and prairies. We work towards preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems and have implemented a number of enhancements for wildlife throughout the center.
Audubon Minnesota’s Purple Martin Conservation Project seeks to assist purple martin populations by partnering with agency parks, nature centers, private corporations, citizens and others by erecting martin houses throughout Minnesota. We are grateful for Audubon Minnesota’s support with this addition and look forward to the arrival of our first nesting pairs. We’ll keep you posted!
Historically, chimney swifts nested and roosted in eastern North America’s old growth, hollow trees. With the loss of those forests, swifts then shifted to nesting and roosting in masonry chimneys. With many chimneys capped now, swifts are unable to use them and their numbers have declined by over 50% in just the last 40 years.
These small, agile, fast flying birds are readily identified by their characteristic “flying cigar” profile. Audubon Minnesota initiated the Chimney Swift Conservation Project to engage the people of Minnesota in tangible, easy-to-accomplish activities that can make a difference to declining Chimney Swift populations and create greater awareness about bird conservation. Chimney swifts can be helped by making chimneys accessible for the birds or by building specially designed nesting/roosting towers. Audubon Minnesota recruits and trains partners to build chimney swift towers on their properties and also creates public awareness about this species through brochures, community chimney swift sits, and presentations. With the installment of the two chimney swifts towers here, we provided a home to area swifts.
In the summer of 2013, a pair of Osprey took up residence on the nest platform and built a nest and defended their territory but did not raise a family. We anticipate that in summer 2014 they will raise a family on the platform. We plan to be offering a streaming webcast of the nest platform in the near future and hope to band the birds once the nest is active – which we hope will be soon. We’ll keep you posted!