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Encouraging
Swifts and Swallows
on the Organic Farm
Allison Manthorne
marswifts@birdscanada.org 1(506) 364-5196
www.birdsc...
Overview
1. What is SwiftWatch?
2. What are “Aerial Insectivores”?
 Barn Swallow
 Cliff Swallow
 Tree Swallow
 Chimney...
Maritimes SwiftWatch
 Citizen Science program launched in
2011 in NB and NS
 Objectives:
 Identify Chimney Swift nest a...
Aerial Insectivores
 A group of birds that specialize in a diet of
flying insects
Different habitats, wintering ranges, h...
Source: North American Bird Conservation Initiative Canada. 2012. The State of Canada's
Birds, 2012. Environment Canada, O...
Source: North American Bird Conservation Initiative Canada. 2012. The State of Canada's
Birds, 2012. Environment Canada, O...
Barn Swallow
 Steely blue head and back
 Brown forehead and throat
 Tan-coloured belly
 Deeply forked tail
 Nest is a...
Barn Swallow
 Threatened across Canada
 Population declined by more
than 75% since 1960s
 Threats: habitat loss, climat...
Cliff Swallow
 Dark blue-black head and back
 White forehead, dark throat
 White belly
 Tail not forked
 Nest is an e...
Cliff Swallow
 Population is declining but not
yet threatened
 Threats: habitat loss, nest
destruction, climate change,
...
Tree Swallow
 Iridescent blue-green back and
head
 White throat and belly
 Tail not forked
 Nest is built inside nestb...
Tree Swallow
 Populations declining but not
yet threatened
 Threats: climate change,
disappearance of insect prey
 Read...
Chimney Swift
 Charcoal grey
 Stubby, spiky tail
 Pale throat
 Bow-and-arrow silhouette
 “cigar with wings”
 Constan...
Chimney Swift
 Threatened across Canada
 Population declined by 95%
since 1960s
 Habitat loss, climate
change, nest des...
How can we help swifts and
swallows on organic farms?
1. Maintain or Create Nesting Habitat
2. Maintain Foraging Habitat
3...
Maintain Nesting Habitat
Action:
 Provide an access point to
suitable buildings by leaving
open a door or window
Benefits...
Maintain Nesting Habitat
Action:
 Maintain a source of mud
near barns and other
buildings
Benefits:
 Barn Swallows
 Cli...
Maintain Nesting Habitat
Action:
 Resist the temptation to
remove old nests -
swallows often reuse them
Benefits:
 Barn ...
Maintain Nesting Habitat
Action:
 Mount artificial nest cups
or shelves in a sheltered
area out of reach of
predators (ra...
Maintain Nesting Habitat
Action:
 Mount nest boxes in an
open area, out of reach of
predators (rats, racoons,
cats)
Benef...
Maintain Foraging Habitat
Action:
 Provide open areas that
support aerial insects
Examples:
 Marshes, ponds, streams
 G...
Become a Citizen
Scientist
Volunteers share their energy, skill, and
bird sightings through research and
monitoring progra...
Complete our Landowner Survey!
 What species are found on your property?
 What actions have you taken to encourage
or di...
Complete our Landowner Survey!
Provide your contact
information for a chance to
win a copy of Woodworking
for Wildlife by ...
Attention PEI farmers:
Since 2012 Island Nature Trust has been
working with farmers and other rural
landowners to:
 Colle...
Shannon Mader
projects@islandnaturetrust.ca
902-892-7523
To find out more or to participate in
this project contact:
Lando...
Acknowledgements
Thank you to our tireless volunteers, participating
landowners, project partners and supporters.
Keep in touch!
www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/ai
@Mar_Swifts Maritimes.Swifts
To find out more or to participate in this pr...
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Encouraging swifts and swallows on the Organic Farm

Ally Manthorne presents at the 2015 Acorn Conference

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Encouraging swifts and swallows on the Organic Farm

  1. 1. Encouraging Swifts and Swallows on the Organic Farm Allison Manthorne marswifts@birdscanada.org 1(506) 364-5196 www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/ai
  2. 2. Overview 1. What is SwiftWatch? 2. What are “Aerial Insectivores”?  Barn Swallow  Cliff Swallow  Tree Swallow  Chimney Swift 3. How can I help?  Nesting Habitat  Around the farm  Citizen Science 4. Get in touch! Mark Peck
  3. 3. Maritimes SwiftWatch  Citizen Science program launched in 2011 in NB and NS  Objectives:  Identify Chimney Swift nest and roost sites  Encourage stewardship  Protect habitat  Monitor population  Activities:  Chimney Swift roost counts, nest checks  Swift Night Out events  New in 2015: swift and swallow project Erin Brethauer, Asheville Citizen-Times
  4. 4. Aerial Insectivores  A group of birds that specialize in a diet of flying insects Different habitats, wintering ranges, human disturbance but similar diets Flycatchers Nightjars Swifts Swallows Alan Schmierer Kenneth Cole Schneider Steve Benoit CB Stokes
  5. 5. Source: North American Bird Conservation Initiative Canada. 2012. The State of Canada's Birds, 2012. Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada. 36 pages.
  6. 6. Source: North American Bird Conservation Initiative Canada. 2012. The State of Canada's Birds, 2012. Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada. 36 pages.
  7. 7. Barn Swallow  Steely blue head and back  Brown forehead and throat  Tan-coloured belly  Deeply forked tail  Nest is an open mud cup Lip Kee Yap Bryant Olsen
  8. 8. Barn Swallow  Threatened across Canada  Population declined by more than 75% since 1960s  Threats: habitat loss, climate change, disappearance of insect prey Bryant OlsenLip Kee Yap
  9. 9. Cliff Swallow  Dark blue-black head and back  White forehead, dark throat  White belly  Tail not forked  Nest is an enclosed mud pod Dan Debold Carol Foll
  10. 10. Cliff Swallow  Population is declining but not yet threatened  Threats: habitat loss, nest destruction, climate change, disappearance of insect prey Lip Kee Yap Carol Foll
  11. 11. Tree Swallow  Iridescent blue-green back and head  White throat and belly  Tail not forked  Nest is built inside nestbox or tree cavity and lined with feathers and straw  First swallow to return in spring Mark Peck Jon Benson
  12. 12. Tree Swallow  Populations declining but not yet threatened  Threats: climate change, disappearance of insect prey  Readily accepts nestboxes Jon BensonMark Peck
  13. 13. Chimney Swift  Charcoal grey  Stubby, spiky tail  Pale throat  Bow-and-arrow silhouette  “cigar with wings”  Constant twittering call Abian Sacks Bruce DiLabio Mark Elderkin
  14. 14. Chimney Swift  Threatened across Canada  Population declined by 95% since 1960s  Habitat loss, climate change, nest destruction, disappearance of insects  Check out “How to be a good Chimney Swift host” Mark Elderkin Ontario SwiftWatchAbian Sacks
  15. 15. How can we help swifts and swallows on organic farms? 1. Maintain or Create Nesting Habitat 2. Maintain Foraging Habitat 3. Become a Citizen Scientist Christian Artuso
  16. 16. Maintain Nesting Habitat Action:  Provide an access point to suitable buildings by leaving open a door or window Benefits:  Barn Swallows  Cliff Swallows  Chimney Swifts banbe1964 William Garrett
  17. 17. Maintain Nesting Habitat Action:  Maintain a source of mud near barns and other buildings Benefits:  Barn Swallows  Cliff Swallows Heathyr Peter Kelly
  18. 18. Maintain Nesting Habitat Action:  Resist the temptation to remove old nests - swallows often reuse them Benefits:  Barn Swallows  Cliff Swallows Mark Peck
  19. 19. Maintain Nesting Habitat Action:  Mount artificial nest cups or shelves in a sheltered area out of reach of predators (rats, racoons, cats) Benefits:  Barn Swallow, Eastern Phoebe, Robin © 2013, American Artifacts and Richard Van Vleck, Taneytown, Maryland. ©1992,MinnesotaDepartmentofNaturalResources
  20. 20. Maintain Nesting Habitat Action:  Mount nest boxes in an open area, out of reach of predators (rats, racoons, cats) Benefits:  Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds Jon Benson
  21. 21. Maintain Foraging Habitat Action:  Provide open areas that support aerial insects Examples:  Marshes, ponds, streams  Grasslands, pastures  Barnyards  Right-of-ways Richle Diesterheft
  22. 22. Become a Citizen Scientist Volunteers share their energy, skill, and bird sightings through research and monitoring programs:  Maritimes SwiftWatch  Project NestWatch  Swifts and Swallows www.birdscanada.org/volunteer Allison Manthorne
  23. 23. Complete our Landowner Survey!  What species are found on your property?  What actions have you taken to encourage or discourage nesting swifts and swallows?  What motivates you to encourage or discourage nesting swifts and swallows on your property?  What is your level of awareness regarding swifts and swallow threats and protection?  How can Bird Studies Canada support you as a steward and citizen scientist? Rob Mueller
  24. 24. Complete our Landowner Survey! Provide your contact information for a chance to win a copy of Woodworking for Wildlife by Carol L. Henderson!  Includes thirty designs for nest boxes and nest platforms that will accommodate forty-six species of wildlife  easy-to-follow diagrams for cutting out and assembling the nest boxes  over three hundred beautiful color photographs Rob Mueller
  25. 25. Attention PEI farmers: Since 2012 Island Nature Trust has been working with farmers and other rural landowners to:  Collect breeding observations of Barn Swallow and Bobolink  Maintain nesting habitat for Barn Swallows and Bobolink  Manage grassland for nesting Bobolink © Natalie Loo
  26. 26. Shannon Mader projects@islandnaturetrust.ca 902-892-7523 To find out more or to participate in this project contact: Landowners on PEI can participate by: This landowner did not want to keep their barn doors open but wanted to allow access for swallows. A simple fix!  Opening buildings in April to allow access to Barn Swallow  Maintaining a supply of mud for nesting Barn Swallow  Installing nest ledges  Reporting observations of Barn Swallow and Bobolink  Monitoring these species on their property  Delaying hay harvest until after July 7
  27. 27. Acknowledgements Thank you to our tireless volunteers, participating landowners, project partners and supporters.
  28. 28. Keep in touch! www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/ai @Mar_Swifts Maritimes.Swifts To find out more or to participate in this project on PEI, contact Shannon Mader: projects@islandnaturetrust.ca 1 (902) 892-7523 Allison Manthorne, Maritimes SwiftWatch marswifts@birdscanada.org 1(506) 364-5196

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