Chaetura Canyon Sanctuary News By Georgean and Paul Kyle

We took a rare week off in late July to travel to Lac Édouard, Quebec to attend the opening of the world’s first Chimney Swift Museum and Interpretive Center where they referred to us as “the grandparents of the Chimney Swift Conservation movement.” Our friend, and founder of the museum, Simon Parent translated into French as we showed the video of the swifts nesting in the towers at Chaetura Canyon which so many of our Canyon visitors have seen and love. We were presented with a hand-carved Chimney Swift by Simon’s father Réjean (a world-champion bird carver). Réjean carved all of the swifts for the display in the museum, and has built six Chimney Swift towers. After the festivities, we counted 66 swifts entering the old restored chimney at the site. We are told that this is the most northern range of the Chimney Swifts. We are delighted that there is now a map at the museum that marks Chaetura Canyon and Lac Èdouard and declares the two sites “friends forever.”

Friends forever

After the brutal summer heat of July and early August, more than 12” of rain and cooler temperatures in late August revitalized the vegetation and recharged the springs in the bottom of the Canyon. Despite the earlier heat, the Introduction to Birds Swift Watch and final Second Saturday Swift Watch of the season were full to the brim with human participants and Chimney Swifts.

September was off to a great start with the second-ever wedding at Chaetura Canyon. Sarah Rodriguez and Rafael Ruiz said their vows on the deck overlooking the Canyon on September 2 before a group of 30 friends. The evening reception introduced the mainly non-birding guests to the Canyon and the Chimney Swifts. Everyone seemed enamored with the newlyweds and the aerial display at sunset.

Wedding guests enjoy Chaetura Canyon’s swifts.

Wedding guests enjoy Chaetura Canyon’s swifts.

The following week, the annual Mediterranean Feast returned after the 2015 hiatus—while the Stewards concentrated on closing their 40-yr-old business. This year’s event was a sell out with a waiting list. We express our thanks to all who participated in this important fundraising event for Chaetura Canyon and all of the others earlier this year.

Work continued removing internal fencing and re-installing it around the newly acquired parcels, and we hope to have all of the perimeter fencing completed by the end of the year. Habitat restoration has begun on the new parcels with the removal of Juniper slash and non-native invasive plants. A Stewardship Day is planned for December, so watch the e-blasts and check the web site for more information.