Old smokestack popular stopover for thousands of birds
Chimney Swifts are small, nimble, birds that spend most of their lives on the wing. While they are not endangered or threatened, their numbers have been in decline over the last 50 years, resulting in a cumulative decline of 72% according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. This is most likely due to a decline in, you guessed it, chimneys! Old chimneys are often removed from buildings or capped, while more modern chimneys (often metallic) are not suitable for Chimney Swifts. Keith Matheney of the Detroit Free Press, writes about a local effort with the Chimney Swift Sanctuary and Detroit Audubon to monitor and help conserve this species and it’s habitat.
In Michigan, A Grassroots Effort to Save the Vanishing Black Tern
2016 marks the 4th year of Detroit and National Audubon’s joint monitoring effort of the Black Tern on Harsens Island. Similar to the Chimney Swift, the Black Tern has seen a a slow and steady decline in the last 50 years, with a cumulative decline of up to 71% in MI. Because of this trend, the Black Tern is now listed as a Species of Special Concern in the State of Michigan, but is not federally listed as threatened or endangered. Detroit and National Audubon are hoping to learn what is behind these regional declines by studying the largest remaining colony in the state. Read more about our efforts in Audubon Magazine!