Earn your bird badge by exploring these dynamic resources from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Parks Canada. Listen to barn swallow songs and calls, and learn about their nesting habits and incubation periods. Better yet, erect some new swallow real estate on your property!
NestWatch: Structure Plan and Nest Cup Ideas
You can download a barn swallow nest structure plan for free at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch site.
On the site, you’ll also find neat information about creating “nest cups” out of 5-inch planting pots in this PDF. If you choose to experiment with this option, make sure you place the nest cups in a sheltered location and monitor them regularly for structural integrity. Swallows will happily add mud and feathers to furnish their DIY abode, and these nest cups can be especially useful in dry areas, where swallows have limited access to mud. A more durable, long-term alternative, however, would be to provide a wooden nest ledge (see nestwatch.org for info).
Barn Swallow Nesting Signs: A Sign of the Times!
Reprinted with permission from Parks Canada
In Canada, barn swallow numbers are dropping, partly due to the loss of nesting areas. Please protect barn swallow nests on your property with this free do-not-disturb sign.
Tip: Look for mud nests in the eaves of buildings.
The sign is 7 inches in diameter. Either print it with your home printer on paper or card stock or send the webpage link to your local sign shop and ask them to produce a durable outdoor sign.
To learn more about this species at risk and to download a copy of the sign, visit the Parks Canada
Jules Torti’s work has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail, travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. With experiences as a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer, she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life.