The first Chimney Swift Tower workshop at Chaetura Canyon commenced on Sunday February 27th when 10 enthusiastic TAS members showed up with hammers in hand.  After the participants completed construction of the main tower components, they took a tour of the 15 Chimney Swift Towers on the sanctuary.  Viewing of video highlights from the previous year's Chimney Swift nesting season followed the tour.

Sunday morning, March 13th was spent on site at the Dripping Springs Primary School where the tower base was set and the concrete foundation was poured.  Trey Kelly spent the next week pre-painting many of the tower and kiosk parts in preparation of the final workday.

On Sunday March 20, the TAS crew began final construction at 8:30 am.  By 3:00 pm the tower and kiosk were completed - ready for students returning from spring break and for a pair of house-hunting Chimney Swifts.  A formal dedication of the new tower and bird habitat at the elementary school on May 13 included a presentation by the first grade Gifted and Talented students.

Many thanks are due to the workshop participants for their interest in Chimney Swift conservation, their hard work and for giving up three Sundays to see this project to completion:  Penny Potter, Sandy Wallace, Trent Miller, Joe and Laura Jelemensky, Anne and John Donovan, Susan Seabolt, Trey Kelly and Jamie Honeycutt.

Photos by Sandy Wallace / Trey Kelly / Anne Donovan / Paul and Georgean Kyle

The first order of business was to assemble the three sections that would be the nest chamber of the tower.  The materials used were T1-11 siding with the grooves running horizontally.  The panels were held together with 1 5/8" decking screws.

John and Trent installed 2" x 2" cleats to strengthen the top and bottom sections of the nest chamber.

Joe and Laura helped assemble the corner pieces that would hold the nest chamber sections together.

Once all of the components were assembled, the participants  were instructed on how to set the foundation forms and tower base in preparation of pouring the slab.

The construction phase of the workshop was followed by a tour of the 15 Chimney Swift Towers at the Chaetura Canyon Bird Sanctuary.