Swifts in Queens

Chimney swift tower in Long Island City, Queens.

In the July-August issue of the magazine, Frank Graham Jr. wrote a nice story about Paul and Georgean Kyle, a couple near Austin, Texas, who have dedicated most of their time as well as their property to nature in general and chimney swifts in particular. One of the many nice things about the story is that the Kyles’ passion seems to be infectious, and swift lovers around the country are following their lead and building nesting/roosting towers. This is happening all over the place, including in New York City.

I was riding my bike along the Queens waterfront recently, when, in a park by a new condo development, I found this newly built swift tower. If you read the plaque, you’ll see this tower honors the memory of Geoffrey Cobb Ryan, who died in 2007. Ryan, a true conservation hero, was (among other things) a cofounder and past president New York City Audubon, as well as a onetime member of the boards of New York City Audubon, Audubon New York, and National Audubon.

A plaque honoring Geoffrey Cobb Ryan.
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