Ralph Bird Award Recipents 2017
Their dedication as volunteers to the Chimney Swift Project and numerous contributions to it over the past decade have been truly outstanding.
The Project started off in 1997 thinking that they could build artificial towers to help swifts as had been done in Texas and other southern locations, only to discover that these towers didn’t work in the Manitoba climate. When the going got tough, the Stewarts got going to research the whys and wherefores and come up with an alternative strategy to maintain habitat for the swifts.
Their activities include: organising volunteers and volunteer-liaison activities; maintaining a database of chimneys & their use by the swifts; inspiring the whole community of St. Adolphe & beyond to get behind the project and the birds; stepping in to save many a chimney under the threat of demolition through stellar community engagement; preparing content for outreach on webpages and fact sheets; informing mitigation strategies including the design of replacement towers and faux-chimneys; informing and organising the Manitoba participation in the national roost-monitoring protocol, and publishing the results of very detailed monitoring and meticulous collection of data such as temperature profiles inside chimneys and other key findings relating to the biology of the species at northern latitudes in peer-reviewed journals such as Blue Jay).