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Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow. Photo by: Mike Wisnicki

Bank Swallows

Bank Swallows are the smallest member of the swallow family. They nest in colonies that may range from 10 to 2000 nests. The Ontario population of Bank Swallows has declined dramatically, dropping by 93% since 1970.

Since 2010, Bird Studies Canada has been surveying Bank Swallows on the north shore of Lake Erie, from Rondeau to Turkey Point. This 130 km stretch of shoreline supports 120,000 individuals - 8% of Canada's breeding pairs, and 36% of Ontario's. This makes the 'north shore of Lake Erie' population significant provincially and nationally, and perhaps even globally.

Not all Bank Swallows nest along eroding lake bluffs and riverbanks. A substantial number use extraction faces in aggregate pits, and topsoil piles in construction areas, where excavation creates similar vertical faces to those of natural nesting sites. Bird Studies Canada and our partners have analyzed the habitat characteristics that influence nesting site selection. This information is useful for understanding Bank Swallow occupancy patterns, as well as for successfully creating or managing artificial nesting habitat at aggregate and construction sites.

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.

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