Swallows and other bird populations that catch insects in flight are in decline. But you can help protect these vulnerable species.
Bank Swallows, which have been reduced to 2% of their population in Canada over a recent 40-year period, are extremely vulnerable and need immediate help.
Barn Swallows have also suffered steep declines, with about 25% of their population remaining in Canada compared to what it was in Canada about 40 years ago. Barn Swallow nests may seem messy to some people, but the value of having insectivores around that eat up to 850 insects a day (think mosquitoes in July!) is invaluable in the Columbia Valley. in spring and summer.
Swallows, tiny aerial acrobats that arrive in the Columbia Valley just as insects emerge and migrate in early fall, are protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
Under this law, the nests of migratory birds are protected all year round. Some people may not be aware that it is actually illegal to damage, destroy, or remove an inactive nest without a permit or authorization. It is your responsibility to assess your legal obligations and assess the risks of harming migratory birds or their nests. If found guilty of violating this law, penalties can include jail time and significant financial fines. Due to their threatened status, bank and barn swallows, their nests, eggs and young are also protected under the Species at Rick Act.
Wildsight Golden works with volunteers and contractors to protect and enhance the habitat of these beautiful, beneficial birds in our valley. If you would like to help, please contact the Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.