America's Mysterious Birds
above the Fireplace
Paul D. Kyle and Georgean Z. Kyle
Illustrated by Georgean Z. Kyle
Photography by Paul D. Kyle
From the curious sounds of baby swifts chattering in the chimney to the awe-inspiring sight of birds entering their roost at dusk, like smoke swirling back into the flue, Chimney Swifts have captured the imagination of many generations of North Americans.
These sleek birds with crescent-shaped wings and acrobatic flight patterns migrate to North America from the Amazon River Basin each spring to breed and raise their young. But by the late 1980s, changes in chimney construction and homeowner attitudes had contributed to a major decline in the numbers of Chimney Swifts. Authors Paul and Georgean Kyle have worked ceaselessly in an attempt to alter that trend.
The Kyles' eight-acre homestead (now a Travis Audubon Society sanctuary) has become a world-renowned Chimney Swift sanctuary and research station, with more than a dozen Chimney Swift towers of various designs located throughout their property. The swifts return each spring to many of these towers, where they rear their young and where their home life is observed and recorded in previously undocumented detail.
In Chimney Swifts, the Kyles share the knowledge they have gained, providing readers with an unprecedented peek into the secret life of these beneficial, insect-eating birds. With a non-technical narrative, numerous photos, and original drawings, they explore Chimney Swift natural history and provide practical guidelines for homeowners to coexist peacefully with these remarkable spring and
What people are saying about this book
"This is a truly outstanding book on a fascinating subject, written by a remarkable husband and wife team who have followed their passions and devoted decades of their lives to the study, conservation, and rehabilitation of Chimney Swifts." —James R. Hill III, founder and executive director, Purple Martin Conservation Association
"With the publication of the Kyles' work we enter a new era of literature, research, and field work on the chimney swift. . . . [This book] will stand as the definitive volume on the species." — Richard B. Fischer, Cornell University
“ ...thoughly entertaining, vitally conservation relevant, and a must read for anyone concerned about conserving America’s birds. My congratulations to the authors!” — Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International
5 3/4 x 8 1/2. 152 pp. 41 color and 4 black and white photos. 28 line drawings.