Richland Eagle Scout's project makes home for chimney swifts
Noah Adams, 15, of Richland always liked chimney swifts.
“They're really cool birds,” Noah told Richland supervisors weeks ago. “They eat one-third of their weight in insects every day.”
“Their natural habitat is threatened,” Noah said. “Most houses are not being built with chimneys.”
At Noah's request — with a unanimous vote — the supervisors gave Noah permission on March 19 to build a nesting tower for the flying mosquito killers in Richland Community Park.
With help from about 10 fellow Boy Scouts, Noah recently installed the 14-foot-tall, kiosk-style structure near the park's soccer fields — just in time for the migrating swifts' anticipated return to Richland on May 15.
“They winter in South America. They travel very far,” Noah said. “Their original habitat is hollowed-out trees.”
“They can't perch,” he said. “They have to cling to something.”
To obtain township approval for the new nesting tower, Noah showed Richland supervisors a photo of the structure he envisioned. He spoke about his building plans, and proposed $650 budget. Noah also showed the officials a drawing of chimney swifts that he made in third grade.
“I am incredibly impressed,” Supervisor Bart Miller told Noah at the supervisors' March 19 meeting. “That's probably one of the best presentations we've ever had.”
Noah hopes his nesting tower helps him earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Noah is the son of Ed and Sue Adams of Richland, and president of his freshman class at Pine-Richland High School.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 150 — they meet at Bakerstown United Methodist Church in Richland — helped Noah with his Eagle Scout project.
Noah also got guidance from Brian Shema, operations director for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania at Beechwood Farms in Fox Chapel.
Noah's grandfather — Ed Adams of Franklin Park — helped Noah and his fellow scouts follow building plans by chimney swift experts Georgan and Paul Kyle of Texas.
“He's very into woodworking,” Noah said about his granddad. “He has every tool you can imagine.”
Noah also drew inspiration from his other grandfather, the late George Brakenridge of Michigan City, Ind.
Brakenridge prided himself on once winning second prize in a birdhouse-building contest. But Brakenridge's own dream of becoming an Eagle Scout was pre-empted by military service in World War II.
Materials for Noah's nesting tower included about $345 in T-111 plywood and pressure-treated deck lumber, plus green and white paint — in keeping with Richland Township's green and white street sign colors.
H.P. Star Lumber Company, Westmoreland Supply and Sherwin-Williams all donated or offered discounts on the materials.
Noah's fascination with chimney swifts took off years ago with a third-grade art assignment to draw a bird in flight.
“At the time, I liked fast things,” Noah said about his decision to sketch chimney swifts. “I thought it was cool the way they dived.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hampton senior turns potato chip bags into strapless dress
- Sain’s spirit, positive outlook to be honored at annual race in North Park
- St. Barnabas, neurosurgeon team to battle dementia
- Shaler Area School Board whittles down facilities options
- Air quality test results good news for Shaler Area
- North Hills vocal instructor pushes students to the top