When you shop with Rootin' Ridge,
You Support
Wildlife Habitat Conservation!

Home Page

Where the Money


Personalized Items

Contact Us

Place an Order


Rootin' Ridge Toymakers Paul and Georgean Kyle in 2003
in front of the Pool Towers at Travis Audubon's
Chaetura Canyon Bird Sanctuary

When we began making toys on our homestead in the Central Texas Hill Country north of Austin in 1975, we were well aware of the plethora of wildlife around us.  Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers hammered on our hand-built house and workshop, White-tailed Deer complicated our efforts at organic gardening, and Carolina Wrens nested behind the paint cans in our workshop  -- it was (and is) wonderful!

Fledgling Carolina Wren
soaking up some sun

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

As our business progressed, we used the meager profits to acquire additional property around us.  We carefully managed the native vegetation to encourage plant diversity that would support as many species as possible.  Trails were created to facilitate maintenance of the growing "Sanctuary", and in 1985 we obtained state and federal permits to care for injured and orphaned wildlife.  Over the next two decades we cared for and released more than 2000 wildlings -- mostly small insect-eating birds.

We established a federally permitted migratory bird banding station around the house and toy workshop, and over the next two decades identified 152 species of native birds that frequented our small refuge -- more than 30 species actually reside and nest on or near this small parcel of land.

Hatchling Chimney Swift

Chimney Swift at release

Chimney Swift
in flight

Our main focus for the past two decades has been a small, little known bird called the Chimney Swift.  We have the distinction of having the only Chimney Swift observatory in the world.  No where else has more consistent, long-termed  research been conducted on this curious, secretive little bird.  We have published numerous scientific articles and several books as a result of our studies.

In 2006, we donated our entire 8-acre canyon homestead and our hand-crafted residence to the Travis Audubon Society.  Although we no longer own the house or the property, we will continue to live on the property to the end of our days and act as Sanctuary Stewards for Travis Audubon's Chaetura Canyon Bird Sanctuary.    As a result of our donation, the property will be preserved and maintained as a Bird Sanctuary in perpetuity.  By the way:  the funny name "Chaetura" is the genus of Chimney Swifts (
Chaetura pelagica) -- the most studied species on the Sanctuary.

The residence at
Chaetura Canyon

Creek bridge in the Canyon

Castle Trail

So, where does your money go when you shop with us?

After basic living expenses are extracted from the sale of Rootin' Ridge toys, all of the remaining funds are used for maintenance of the trails, the Chimney Swift Towers and the residence on Chaetura

For more information about Chaetura Canyon,
please check out the following links:

Travis Audubon Society: www.TravisAudubon.org

Chimney Swift Conservation Association:  www.ChimneySwifts.org

To read an article about the transfer of Chaetura Canyon
from us to Travis Audubon, click on:

Travis Audubon's "Signal Smoke", February 2007