GM’s Vehicle Engineering Center Is For The Birds

Cliff swallows take up residence under overhang at Vehicle Engineering Center
Jun 23, 2011 4:00 PM ET

GM’s Vehicle Engineering Center Is For The Birds

It seems engineers are not the only form of wildlife GM’s vehicle engineering center attracts: Cliff swallows built nests made of mud and took up residence under the building’s overhang…. a space ideally suited for their livelihood.

Since cliff swallows subsist primarily on a diet of insects caught in mid-flight, the reflecting pools on the grounds of the Warren Tech Center are a veritable insect buffet for the swallows, as they prey on bugs attracted to water during hot summer months.

“They do help control the insects, so they’re very good at catching the flies and feeding them to their chicks,” says David Aspen, GM Tech Center Environmental Manager. “You do get a few complaints every now and then about their droppings, but for the most part, people are pretty happy that they are here, and they like to watch them.”

At current count, there are more than 180 nests that house the swallows and their offspring, which mix in harmoniously with the 30 acres of wildlife habitat on GM’s Warren Tech Center campus.

Recently, the NBC affiliate in Detroit ran a segment on the cliff swallows’ summer home. Click here to see the video in its entirety.

GM currently has 15 programs around the world certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, which recognize outstanding habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites.