Local Conservation Project Seeks Volunteers to Monitor Swallows

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With the arrival of migratory birds also comes the second year of the five-year (2021-2026) Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project (UCSHEP). Volunteers are being requested to help with barn and bank swallow nest monitoring, between April/May – September for barn swallows and between June – July for bank swallows. The locations of any new barn and bank swallow nesting sites in the Columbia Valley is also being requested. If you are interested in participating in this project or want more information, please contact the project biologist at racheldarvill@gmail.com.

“The swallow project has lots of exciting things lined up for 2022, including the installation of Motus Wildlife Tracking Stations in the Columbia Valley”, states project biologist Rachel Darvill. “These stations, along with the tagging of about 100 bank swallows, will help us track local swallow movements during breeding periods, during post-breeding, and will identify migration routes and winter areas,”  states Darvill. 

The project is also working on erecting more artificial nesting structures for barn swallows in strategic locations of the Columbia Valley, on restoring bank swallow breeding habitat that has been altered, and effectiveness monitoring at artificial nesting structures built in 2021.  Additionally, private landowner outreach and nest monitoring with volunteers will continue.  Regarding interpretive signage designed and installed for swallows, the UCSHEP will work with Indigenous peoples to share their perspectives on swallows. Stay tuned to more updates about some of these exciting initiatives.

We have two events coming up, both led by the project biologist.  Registration is required and to register for either event visit the UCSHEP website:

April 11, 12-1 PM: Webinar – Swallow conservation initiatives in the Columbia Valley

April 29, 10AM-12 PM – Field tour for the Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project

This project would not be possible without generous volunteer citizen-scientists, our partners, and major funders (CBT Ecosystem Enhancement Program, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, RDEK’s Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund).  For a full list of organizations involved with this project, or if you are interested in financially donating to this project, please visit the UCSHEP website.