04 May 2011

Uncertain Future for Swift Chimneys in Eastern Omaha

Chimneys at two eastern Omaha apartment houses face an uncertain future as the buildings are now closed and convey an apparent sense of an unknown future. Will these properties be sold and renovated? Or will their condition deteriorate until they are torn down and the site used for some other purpose? Perhaps a parking lot!

The Canterbury Apartment buildings at Park Avenue and Leavenworth Streets have two large chimneys, one at each building. Use of chimneys here by Chimney Swifts was originally documented in 2003, though any current usage needs to be determined.

Canterbury Apartment buildings. May 2, 2011.

South unit at Canterbury Apartments; morning of 5 May 2011.

The Anderson Apartment House at 24th and Jones streets, which also has a large-sized chimney, is "closed" with signs prominently displayed indicating it is unfit for human habitation. Plywood covers the lower level windows, with other, upper-level windows broken and exposing the buildings interior to the detrimental influence of weather elements.

This building was built when ornate and decorative architectural features were included in a structure's construction. Scroll work adorns the buildings facade along 24th Street, as well as prominently near its primary entry along Jones Street.

On September 20, 2003 about 150 swifts were observed entering this chimney in the evening. On September 3rd and 10th in 2005, 25 and 35 swifts, respectively, were seen using this building as an overnight roost. There were 180 bugeaters noted on the morning of October 4, 2009 when they returned to their roost haven after an initial foray into the skies, which they apparently did not find suitable, so they returned to roost and foray out at a later time of the day.

Anderson Apartment Building. May 2, 2011.

There are numerous other chimneys in the immediate vicinity of each building, but since chimney swift use is known for each location, the loss of the roost sites would have some sort of impact on seasonal gatherings of the swifts despite the occurrence of other suitable roost chimneys.