Monthly Archives: December 2018

Saving Ontario’s Barn Swallows

If you have had the opportunity to travel down the Highway 401 corridor between Windsor and London you will have noticed several odd looking roofed structures on either side . Although they are very unusual buildings, they are provided for one of our declining swallow species, the Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) often seen in countrysides and around farm buildings. Efforts are being made to return them to their original numbers as their former habitats are being removed, closed or destroyed. The next time you travel this route or other routes in Ontario, you’ll understand why these odd looking structures are standing.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has set up some specific guidelines on Altering Barn Swallow Habitat at their website .


PUMA Abundance throughout the year

This ebird site produced by Cornell University sheds a lot of information about the relative abundance of Purple Martins throughout North and Central America during the year. It is certainly an interesting read about  their movements and relative abundance during the calendar year.


Nesting Pairs and Fledgling Results

As of December 4, 2018 , thirty  martin landlords have reported their results for 2018 as of December 4, 2018 .  You can see how they did ….Check below

Nesting pairs and fledgling results 2018 Dec 4

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory Purple Martin Update

The following blog article appeared on The Nature Canada website and provides important information about the work being done to assist the Purple Martin. Brodie Badcock-Parks  is a Nature Conservation Intern at Nature Canada. Feel free to explore the article and further information about the Purple Martin by clicking on the photo hyper link. The photo is the current Purple Martin site at Holiday Beach Migration Observatory.

Tag, you’re it! – An update on Nature Canada’s new Save our Swallows initiative

Developing a Nest Box Protocol

Developing a Nest Box Protocol -Fall Newsletter 2018

by Bill Read (President, Ontario Eastern Bluebird Association)

When asked to give advice on any proposed nest box project, I tell participants that building the nest boxes amounts to only 5% of the total project – the placement, predator protection, monitoring and record keeping make up the other 95 %. The OEBS has developed a protocol that can be followed when designing a nest box program for all cavity nesting species. It is hoped by following this protocol, groups running these workshops will have a greater chance of success attracting and being successful with the target species.

  1. Plan all phases of the project before starting.
  2. Decide on a target species and learn all about that species before starting.
  3. Determine nest box locations. If on private property make sure you have the landowners’ permission before setting up the nest boxes.
  4. Determine what kind of predator protection will be used.
  5. Decide who will monitor the boxes. 6. Decide who will keep the records.
  6. If boxes are to be located in areas with high House Sparrow populations decide how this risk will be mitigated.
  7. Decide how many nest boxes to build
  8. It is best to start small with a few nest boxes and do it properly. More can be added the following year.