Agassiz Audubon Society receives $1,100 grant for Community Nest Watch project

Chimney swifts and other insect-eating birds in northwest Minnesota will be getting a boost from an $1,100 grant the Agassiz Audubon Society in Warren, Minn., is receiving from the Minnesota Ornithologists Union.

Chimney swift populations have declined drastically during the past 40 years. (Photo courtesy of the Agassiz Audubon Society)

The Minneapolis-based organization announced the grant last week, and the money will support the Audubon Society’s new “Community Nest Watch” project.

“The grant will help us purchase of construction materials for two chimney swift towers,” Van Hapka, president of Agassiz Audubon, said in a news release. “We’re planning to build one in downtown Warren near City Hall and the other at the Audubon Center of the Red River Valley on 190th Street.

“Our goal is inspire local communities throughout the Red River Valley — to learn more about birds, create habitat for them and have fun doing it,” Hapka added. The Audubon Society said the Community Nest Watch Project is focusing on insect-eating birds whose populations are declining — chimney swifts, eastern bluebirds, American kestrels and purple martins.

In related news, the Agassiz Audubon Society is recruiting volunteers to help build and install nest boxes in their communities and then monitor the boxes throughout the summer. For more information, contact the Audubon Center at (218) 745-5663.