With the spring season officially upon us, the birding community is (naturally) abuzz with excitement. Across our social media channels and those whom we meet on a daily basis in both of our Ottawa stores are talking migration, nesting and everything in between.

As we anxiously await the pending snowmelt, we are busy planning our backyard birding season for the spring and summer of 2018.

As such, we have done some extensive R&D work during the winter months (it’s a labour of love) and are happy to announce the development and release of a brand-new product for this season.

We would like to introduce our new Barn Swallow Nesting Box Cups.

 

These small nesting cups are specifically designed to accommodate our busy and vocal barn swallows that will soon be arriving here in the greater Ottawa area. These birds find existing structures such as barns, homes, and sheds particularly attractive for building their nests but often run the risk of being destroyed or predated upon.

What is a Barn Swallow Nest?

Firstly, the construction process is one shared between both the male and female barn swallows. After carefully selecting a nesting site, the two will then collect mud with their bills and mix it with grass stems in an effort to create small pellets.

The engineering process starts with the birds building a platform or shelf from which to construct the remainder of their nest. The nests are built either against the wall of a structure or upon the top of a beam inside or outside of the structure. They will continue to build up the outside walls of the nest into a small half cup shape and then fill the inside with comfortable material such as grass and feathers.

What is a Nesting Cup?

Basically, a nesting cup is something that eliminates much of the construction process for the barn swallows. Our design allows them to be safely hung in ideal nesting areas and give these birds the infrastructure they need to successfully raise their brood. Upon locating one of these cups, barn swallows will still go through the process of adding mud, grass and feathers to make each one their own but enjoy the safety of securely fastening them to the structure or area of choice.

Maintenance

This is relatively easy but important. Barn swallows are susceptible to parasites, particularly mites and these are often found in old, abandoned nests from years past. Once the breeding season is over, be sure to carefully clean these nesting cups out for the next season or even another brood within the same calendar year for the very best results.

Barn swallow populations have declined cumulatively by 46 percent between the years of 1966 and 2014 but with the help of birders and these strategically placed nesting sites, we can all make a difference in bringing this species back to prominence.

Nesting Box Cups will be available at both of our Ottawa stores starting Easter Weekend 2018.  Call or email us at gilligalloubird@gmail.com to reserve yours today!