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You Can Help - Volunteer and steward Bank Swallows

Bank Swallow Photo: Meg Langlais

You Can Help - Volunteer & steward Bank Swallows

Photo: Meg Langlais

Keep your distance!

Our recreational activities can have an unintended negative impact on Bank Swallows. When you are at a beach or river and you notice Bank Swallows, keep your distance. When walking along a beach, stay close to the water and avoid approaching Bank Swallows and their burrows. When walking along the top of a coastal cliff, if you see Bank Swallows or burrows, do not walk over top of them. Bank Swallow’s burrows are dug in loose, eroding substrate and can collapse from human disturbances. Please, share the area with wildlife and keep your distance. Bank Swallows are protected under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. It is illegal to harm them and their burrows. If you see someone disturbing a Bank Swallow colony, report it (see section Report an at-risk colony). Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Bank Swallows and for keeping your distance to help protect them.


Report an at-risk colony

Birds Canada: Heather Polowyk, Bank Swallow Conservation Coordinator

Atlantic Region: Environment and Climate Change Canada- Canadian Wildlife Service (1-800-668-6767), Wildlife Enforcement (1-902-407-8281) 

New Brunswick: Dept. of Justice and Public Safety (506-453-3992), Wildlife Enforcement (506-453-5417)

Nova Scotia: Wildlife Enforcement (902-240-1898), Dept. of Lands and Forestry (1-800-565-2224)

Newfoundland and Labrador: Wildlife Enforcement (709-640-9601)

Prince Edward Island: Wildlife Enforcement (902-368-4884)   

Atlantic region: Parks Canada- reception (1-877-852-3100)

Bank Swallow colony Photo: Natasha Barlow

Report your sightings!

Birds Canada: Heather Polowyk, Bank Swallow Conservation Coordinator

eBird Canada – a global bird sighting and monitoring platform that contributes to bird conservation science. Bird sightings can be easily reported using the website or a mobile app.

NatureCounts– Birds Canada’s national database where volunteers can contribute to our bird conservation projects.


Other ways to help Bank Swallows

You can help Bank Swallows right on your own property by limiting the use of pesticides, planting a bird garden that provides habitat for birds and insects, and if you live on a coastal property, you can help Bank Swallows by using alternatives to shoreline hardening (riprap) on your property. Erosion is a natural and necessary process. Preventing erosion using riprap blocks Bank Swallows from nesting in the sandy banks. If the erosion is minor, consider leaving it as is. If the erosion is intense, consider green solutions to help control it, such as living shorelines. Learn more about erosion and Bank Swallows.