Dunham Brewery to the rescue of the Chimney Swift


A local business owner lends a hand to a threatened bird species: the Chimney Swift. Appalachian Corridor got in touch with the owner of Dunham Brewery since the chimney is used as a nesting or resting site by the birds. Once the Dunham Brewery was aware of the unlikely tenants, the business owner has pledged to protect the chimney for the birds’ use. “Appalachian Corridor monitors several endangered species within its territory of action, one of them being the Chimney Swift, says Mélanie Lelièvre, Executive Director of the organization.  Throughout the years, we raised awareness among the community, more specifically with building owners to help protect this species. The good news is that people can make a huge difference by applying simple measures. Huge thanks to Dunham Brewery for contributing tangibly towards the protection of this threatened species.”

This brownish grey aerial insectivore is readily distinguished by its cigar-shaped body, 12-14 cm long and narrow. It has pointed wings shaped like a boomerang and a short tail. The Chimney Swift has a quick, jerky flight, similar to that of the bat. The Chimney Swift spends the major part of the day in flight feeding on insects, often seen near bodies of water due to the abundance of prey. Chimney Swifts can be observed at dusk when they gather back to roost overnight. A very gregarious species, they maneuver swiftly to enter the chimney one by one in no time.

Simple and effective measures to help the Chimney Swift

Initially, the Chimney Swift nested in large hollow trees and occasionally on cave walls or in rocky crevices. However, due to the land clearing associated with colonization, hollow trees became increasingly rare, which led Chimney Swifts to move into chimneys. Today, the species is mainly associated with urban and rural areas where the birds can find structures suited to use as nesting and resting sites. The half-saucer-shaped nest made from twigs is glued on the vertical porous surface with the bird’s glutinous saliva. Hence, when metallic chimney liners are installed, the birds can’t grip on the wall. Furthermore, with chimney caps or mesh preventing birds from entering the structure, the Chimney swifts are homeless!

To ensure the species survival, the Dunham Brewery has agreed not to block the chimney’s access, not to install a metallic liner and to have it swept between September 1st and May 1st only (outside nesting season). Respecting these relatively easy measures, cohabiting with Chimney Swifts can be harmonious and hassle-free!

It is through initiatives like this one that Appalachian Corridor, in partnership with business and home owners, contributes to preserving this endangered species habitat.



Mr. Éloi Deit (owner) and Mr. Éric Beaulac (manager) of the Dunham Brewery were awarded for their contribution towards the Chimney Swifts conservation. Dunham Brewery is located at 3809, rue Principale 450 295-1500