The City of Kingston reports it has installed a new artificial nesting structure for an at-risk species of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).
The structure is located between Highway 401 and the K&P Trail near Centennial Drive (map), an area that has no apparent spots for the barn swallows to nest.
In a release, Rob Lambert, construction engineering services project manager, reported that barn swallows “were noted in the area as part of the Environmental Assessment ahead of building the Centennial Drive extension.”
Barn Swallows typically nest on structures featuring unpainted, rough-cut wood such as barns, sheds and under bridges. Artificial nesting structures are often built to replace these structures after they are removed to provide privacy and protection for the birds.
The new local structure was constructed in an area of low visibility that is shielded from the highway and difficult for humans to access.
According to the Ontario government, barn swallows are considered “threatened” – meaning it is not endangered, but likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors that threaten it. The number of barn swallows in the province decreased 65 percent between 1966 and 2009.