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Linda Bergman-Althouse

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Chimney Swift Tower, New to Sneads Ferry
Wednesday, February 20, 2008  4:03:00 PM

by Linda Bergman-Althouse

Little things you do can make a very big and positive difference. You may or may not find out about it, but just keep doing your part and rejoice anyway.

When Jim Fulcher asked his wife, Virginia, what she wanted for Christmas last year, she said a Chimney Swift Tower. The requested gift was definitely not the type of thing a woman can wear on her finger or dangle from her earlobes and not easily shown to her friends at lunch, but she had recently read in the Jacksonville Daily News that Chimney Swift habitat was declining in our area due to the capping of chimneys, loss of tree cavities and new construction methods. Virginia has always been impressed with the benefits Chimney Swifts, who are insectivores, offer our environment and mulled over the information contained in the Letter to the Editor Linda Bergman-Althouse wrote long enough to feel compelled to do something about it. The Fulchers share a waterway enjoyed by an array of wildlife. For many years, Jim and Virginia have continued to supplement wild birds’ diets and provide condos or gourds for Purple Martins when nesting time rolls around each spring. After going on the Internet and downloading schematics for a tower and an acceptable materials list from, Jim recruited another builder to help him construct the tower. It took a few weeks or more to complete the twelve-foot tower, due to waiting out wet weather conditions and allotting time needed for the concrete to thoroughly set up. To withstand hurricane force winds, Jim dug a foundation platform so deep, he needed twenty bags of cement to fill it. Wide angled, iron girders were set in place to form an extremely sturdy base. Finished this past week, the twelve-foot tall swift tower, which Chimney Swifts like better than the eight-foot according to something Jim read, stands in waiting along Swan Point off Stump Sound in Sneads Ferry. So “yes, Virginia, we can honestly say there is a Santa Claus, well . . . a Santa’s helper, also known as your husband,” who made this special Christmas present, a Chimney Swift Tower, happen. She can’t wait for the first migratory Chimney Swift couple to show up from South America’s Amazon Basin and check out their new digs. Although, the tower is large enough to house quite a number of roosting pairs of swifts, Virginia says she will be thrilled to see just one couple this year.
Linda Bergman-Althouse

 More News about Linda Bergman-Althouse
New Chimney Swift Towers - Flyin' High in 2009! - 8/19/2009 12:32:00 PM

Chimney Swift Tower Grant Proposal Passed! - 9/20/2007 6:52:00 AM

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