Imperiled Insectivores: What We Know and How We Can Learn More

This post was written by guest blogger Sean Feagan. An aerial insectivore is a behavioural term used to describe species that feed almost exclusively on insects while on the wing. In regards to birds, they are comprised of species belonging to four bird families: swifts, swallows, flycatchers and nightjars. In addition to being beautiful, these birds help control insect populations. Despite being protected under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, aerial insectivore bird populations are declining rapidly. This is a serious problem. For example, Tree Swallow (note the striking iridescence) as pictured below, has declined by an estimated 2.25 percent per year from 1966 to 2015. Figure 1 at the end of this blog presents the species of aerial insectivore that… read more →