Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tree Swallow Housing Shortage

If you reside in the more northern climes, you still have time to treat the Tree Swallows to affordable housing!  Numbers are declining slowly as they lose their habitat to man and bird alike.  As cavity nesters, tree swallows can be found near water and prefer pileated woodpecker holes.  But between habitat destruction and the influx of starlings and house sparrows, their housing market is compromised.

Here is just one example of a set of plans to build a tree swallow house:


Use any wood which resists weathering for building nesting boxes.  A natural log effect can be achieved by using bits and pieces of wood with bark still intact.  These mill-slabs can be fouond in most sawmills, lumber yards, and firewood lots.  Slabs are usually cheaper than rouogh or dressed lumber.

The recommended minimum height above ground is 7 feet (2.1 meters)
 on a pole or in a tree in open areas near sight of water.

If you wish to paint your boxes, avoid bright colors.

Tree swallows are gregarious,
and an acre of land can accomodate up to 8 nesting pairs.
Their houses can actually be placed 10 feet apart.

A tree swallow usually lays 4 - 6 eggs, with an incubation period
of approximately 14 days.  The young leave the nest in about 16 - 20 days.

In my area, the tree swallows arrived mid-May of last year. 
My houses are going up next weekend just in case they are early.
I can't wait until I hear their sweet little chatter.

My favorite part about the return of the tree swallows? 
Being out in my kayak during the wee hours of the morning
while they swoop and circle around me catching their breakfast!

Click HERE for more interesting Nature Notes!
Thank you to Rambling Woods for this meme!


This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: They fly around the lake I fish and I love to see them patrol the morning lake for bugs.

Carver said...

Great post with good information about building nesting boxes for the swallows.

eileeninmd said...

Great post on the Tree swallows and their houses. It is sad to see any kind of bird in decline.

Caron said...

What if I don't live near water?

KaHolly said...

Thanks for visiting!

Piece of News - excellent question. My sister had swallows nest around her property and she didn't live too near water. I'd give it a try. Someone will take up residence, even if it isn't swallows. In the meantime, you can encourage those you know that do live near water to consider putting up houses! ~karen

Carrie P. said...

We don't have them but I have seen them on TV. Pretty birds.

Johnny Nutcase said...

i give this post lots of thumbs up - great one!!

John said...

Hi Karen,

Fantastic plans I hope many take note of the plans and build the nest homes for the Swallows. I look forward reading about them during the Spring and Summer.

FAB said...

Excellent post Karen.

KaHolly said...

I SO appreciate your encouraging comments! Thank you all very much. ~karen

fabricartist21 said...

This is so interesting. I love all kinds of wildlife. You said something about looking me up when you come to S. A. I would love to meet you and we could have some quilting fun. My sister and I met with Barbara from Belewelled Quilts a blogger from Samoa and we had a marvelous day. Call me and let me know when you come.

EG CameraGirl said...

This was such an interesting post! Tree swallows truly are lovely as the swoop arounf the yard catching insects.

NatureFootstep said...

how nice! I love swallows. They used to nest in thr barn where I have my kajak. But the other people did not like it so they sealed it so the birds could not enter :(

Anonymous said...

I love the swallows - such grace on the wing. I've only seen a few roughies so far this year, but am looking forward to the return of the rest.

Susan said...

Love this Karen! You know SO much about the natural world, I love coming here and learning! Wow, I still have to get blubird boxes up too, I don't think I'll be able to any nesting boxes until next spring - ARRGGHH makes me so mad I can't fit in everything I want to!

Oh and I looked up my shell, and you were right, it is a moon snail! I've never heard of it, thanks again. I knew I could've looked it up right away, but though it'd be fun to see if anyone knew.

Make sure to take pics of your boxes after you get them up!

Its Time to Live said...

I made hundreds of these in the past. Thanks for the reminder, perhaps I will build a few for the neighborhood this time.

Susan said...

How are you my dear? I have an award for you at my blog, come on over when you get a chance!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Interesting read - your birdlife is so very different to ours! Hope you see plenty of nests this spring.