To help create awareness around the unique Chimney swift bird species, which is on the decline, Titletown Brewing has created a new beverage, “Swifts’ Night Ale,” which will be available for a limited time only. The new beer introduction kicks off the annual Swift Night Out campaign on Saturday, August 5th in Green Bay, where volunteers will watch chimneys and count the number of swifts that enter for the night.
It is uncertain why the swift population is declining, but two factors are concerning: the widespread use of pesticides and loss of habitat. Chimneys that swifts rely on for nesting and roosting are no longer being built due to technology changes, and are also being capped or torn down. Recently, it was discovered that a local chimney that housed as many as 2,000 roosting swifts during fall migration each year has been capped. No one knows where those swifts will go. More research needs to be done on this remarkable bird and the Swift Night Out monitoring will help.
When approached about creating the beer to honor the swift, Brent Weycker, owner of Titletown Brewing and Brewmaster, David Oldenburg both welcomed the idea.
Oldenburg, said his swift-themed libation is “a historic-style, Kentucky common ale, made partially with corn.” He said this type of beer, a corn and barley combination, is increasing in popularity and will lean toward the amber flavor.
Titletown has also created beers for the Snowy Owl and the endangered Piping Plover.
Why care about Chimney swifts?
Chimney Swifts have declined significantly in recent decades and need our assistance more than ever. In 2009, our northern neighbor, Canada, listed them as Threatened.
Because of changes made to our landscape and loss of historical habitat, swifts rely almost entirely on man-made structures for nest and roost sites. Our chimneys are their homes.
Chimney Swifts eat up to half of their own weight in flying insects, including pests, every day.
Chimney Swifts are protected by Federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1916.
The aesthetic value of observing Chimney Swifts’ aerial acrobatics, high pitched chitters, and interactions is a simple pleasure of nature.
For more information about Chimney swifts and how you can help, please visit: http://www.wiswifts.org/