The Hilliarton Marsh Research and Education Centre’s initiative to support tree swallow populations has been an ongoing one since its existence (and before) AND it is probably one of the most important projects that our readers can get involved with. WHY? According to the last survey in the “The atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario”, there has been an annual decline of tree swallow populations by 2.6%, representing an estimated 25% population loss in the last 25 years. The primary reasons for this drastic decline, as for all other aerial insectivores in Ontario, are likely related to factors affecting their common food source and breeding habitat, such as agricultural pesticide use, and difficulty in finding nesting cavities because of habitat loss.
It has been suggested that tree swallow breeding populations are limited by an availability of nesting sites, and that a tree swallow will readily use artificial nest boxes installed near human populations.
We would like to thank those who have participated in our swallow box initiative by building and installing nest boxes, maintaining nest box trails or by SPONSORING a nest box.
For a Donation of 100.00, HMREC will donate a Swallow box in your name (or in memory of a family member) and place it along the nesting trail at the marsh. A personalized inscription will be placed on the box and, eventually on a plaque along with other sponsors at the “bird house” banding station. Your donation allows us to build and install approximately 5 boxes. Currently we have over 200 boxes in the area and already are looking into other areas to extend our efforts.