Chimney Swift towers have been in use since 1932.  They provide nesting locations May through August as well as nightly shelter during spring and fall migrations.  One tower costs approximately $600 in materials to build.  If you’d like to be part of our initiative to build more towers for placement around Knox County, please donate here


Interested in seeing Chimney Swifts during migration?  Join us for our annual Flight of the Chimney Swifts event.

Follow along below to see the progression and installation of our very own Chimney Swift Tower!


Swift tower 1

Longtime Owl Creek Conservancy members Jeff Kauffman and Walt Kelling begin construction on the Chimney Swift tower prototype.

Swift tower 2

Construction continues.  At this point, the tower is 19 feet long and weighs about 300 pounds.

Swift tower 3

Director Vicki nails on the insulation board. Insulation and air gaps help regulate the internal temperature of the tower.

Swift tower 4

The nearly finished tower is loaded on a flatbed trailer for its trip to the Brown Family Environmental Center.  The siding will be added on-site because the weight of the tower would crush the vinyl en route.

Swift tower 5

The tower arrives at the Labyrinth at the Brown Family Environmental Center, near the Kokosing Gap Trail.

Swift tower 6

Shane McGuire of the Brown Family Environmental Center made the installation of the tower possible.

Swift tower 7

The maintenance crew from Kenyon College made themselves available to help out, and they were a great group of guys.
 Swift tower 8
The crowd looks on as Shane and the maintenance crew dig the hole where the tower will be set.
 Swift tower 9
 Shane and the crew add concrete to the backfill for added stability.

Swift tower 10

 The crowd gives encouragement and support to the workers.  It’s always fun to watch someone else work!
 Swift tower 11
The tower is sided.  Vinyl is a good choice because it’s too smooth for predators to climb, and the light color helps reflect heat.

Swift tower 12

A sheet metal cap is made to protect the top.
 Swift tower 13
Jeff and Walt stand next to the finished product.
 Swift tower 14

The completed Chimney Swift tower.


The Owl Creek Conservancy would like to thank Walt Kelling and Jeff Kauffman for the time they donated to build the tower and deliver it to the BFEC; Shane McGuire for his good-natured helpfulness; the maintenance crew at Kenyon College for their time and equipment; and Noelle Jordan and the Brown Family Environmental Center for hosting the tower.  We appreciate you all! 

   Video of the tower being hoisted into the air. It required several attempts and was a nail-biting few minutes!