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Barn Swallow - Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas Website

Barn Swallow - Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas Website

Barn

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) (Brown and Brown 1999). Natural locations for nesting are limited to rock overhangs and crevices, or the mouths of caves, situations seldom found in Michigan. The Barn Swallow therefore benefited greatly from European settlement, particularly as agriculture took hold and human structures in the form of open sheds and large barns with many rough-hewn beams and large openings were constructed. These buildings were kept open for the movement of livestock and allowed access by the swallows. The development of road and highway systems also benefited this swallow. Bridges over rivers and streams, even where farming was limited, provided adequate protected locations with attachment points for nests into the forested portions of the northern LP and much of the UP, where breeding opportunities would otherwise have been restricted to many fewer natural sites such as rock overhangs or crevices. It should also be noted that this species nests below piers and in boathouses along the shorelines of the Great Lakes and inland lakes which accounts for its distribution along forested shorelines in the northern LP and UP and many Great Lakes islands. Richard A. Wolinski noted for all of North America by Brown and Brown (1999). Conservation Needs The Barn Swallow remains one of the most abundant nesting species in the state and no conservation action appears to be warranted at the present time. The species is not listed as a species of conservation concern in any national conservation plan; though see Lepage (2007) where aerial insectivores have been identified as a priority group for conservation actions by Ontario Partners in Flight. Abundance and Population Trends (Click to view a trends from the BBS) Recent changes in farm size, operations, and building construction materials for farm equipment storage, have provided fewer nesting sites for the Barn Swallow even as older barns and sheds have fallen into disrepair or have been shuttered. These changes are enough to affect population levels statewide and in part, nesting distribution, particularly in those inland areas that had few suitable nesting structures during the 19 th and 20 th centuries in the UP and parts of the northern LP. The relative abundance of the Barn Swallow as shown by BBS route data indicates a statistically significant decline from 1983 to 2007 for USFWS Region 3 (Sauer et al. 2008). Similar declines have been reported by atlas projects in New York (Medler 2008) and Ontario, Canada (Lepage 2007), and have been © 2011 Kalamazoo Nature Center

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Literature Cited Barrows, W.B. 1912. Michigan Bird Life. Special Bulletin. Michigan Agricultural College. Lansing, Michigan, USA. Brown, C.R., and M.B. Brown. 1999. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Account 452 in A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The Birds of North America, The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Cook, A.J. 1893. Birds of Michigan, 2 nd edition. Bulletin 94. Michigan Agricultural Experimental Station, Lansing, Michigan, USA. Lepage, D. 2007. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Pages 398-399 in M.D. Cadman, D.A. Sutherland, G.G. Beck, D. Lepage, and A.R. Couturier, editors. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005. Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, Ontario Field Ornithologists, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ontario Nature. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Medler, M.D. 2008. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Pages 402-403 in K.J. McGowan, and K. Corwin, editors. The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York, USA. Payne, R.B. 1983. A Distributional Checklist of the Birds of Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication 164. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Sager, A. 1839. Report of Doctor Abraham Sager, zoologist of Geological Survey. House Documents of the State of Michigan 410-421. Sauer, J.R., J.E. Hines, and J. Fallon. 2008. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966-2007. Version 5.15.2008. USGS, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Laurel, Maryland, USA. Turner, A., and C. Rose. 1989. Swallows and Martins: An Identification Guide and Richard A. Wolinski Handbook. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Wolinski, R. 1991. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Pages 310-311 in R. Brewer, G.A. McPeek, and R.J. Adams, Jr. The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Michigan. Michigan State University Press. East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Wood, N.P. 1951. The Birds of Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication 75. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Zimmerman, D.A., and J. Van Tyne. 1959. A Distributional Checklist of the Birds of Michigan. Occasional Paper 608. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Suggested Citation Wolinski, R.A. 2011. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). In A.T. Chartier, J.J. Baldy, and J.M. Brenneman, editors. The Second Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas. Kalamazoo Nature Center. Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. Accessed online at: . © 2011 Kalamazoo Nature Center

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