Bank and Barn Swallow movement and roost site use patterns in eastern New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


Aerial insectivores, bird species defined by their common method of foraging for insects in flight, are experiencing the greatest population declines of any avian guild in Canada. My study focuses on two aerial insectivore species which have exhibited extreme population losses in Atlantic Canada since 1970: Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) and Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). I investigated these species’ movement ecology in the Chignecto Isthmus using radio telemetry to 1) identify key wetland roost sites and characterize roost site use to inform wetland conservation and 2) explore Bank Swallow foraging movement patterns to identify temporal or sex-based differences. Pinpointing key wetland roost sites proved difficult, and my results indicate that Bank Swallows use multiple sites throughout the season, which may change in use frequency over years. I also identified significant changes in Bank Swallow foraging amount over the season, and a potential inequality between the sexes during peak breeding.