Barn Swallows nest almost exclusively on human-made structures such as barns, sheds, bridges, and culverts. They are the most widely-distributed of all swallows. However, the Canadian population has declined by 80% since 1970.
Bird Studies Canada initiated a Barn Swallow monitoring and stewardship project in Ontario in 2012. In spring 2013, we began building and testing different types of artificial nesting structures. Our goal was to develop an optimal design that might help mitigate impacts of habitat being lost across southern Ontario.
In 2014 we collaborated with Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario to test how social cues, such as the presence of other swallows, might affect Barn Swallow use of these new structures.
In addition to testing artificial nesting structures, Bird Studies Canada has also looked at Barn Swallows' preferred nesting structure types. We quantified their use of various structures, and not surprisingly, barns came out on top. All of this information is being used to determine the breeding habitat characteristics that are most important for Barn Swallows.
This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.