Nature Canada

Tree Swallow Housing

Easily recognizable by its iridescent feathers, the Tree Swallow is a treat for anyone fortunate enough to have these magnificent songbirds on their property. As such, many Canadians provide housing for the Tree Swallow in the spring – a necessity for the cavity-nesting swallow that cannot dig their own holes.

Unfortunately, improper stewardship techniques often result in more deaths than successful broods.

One of the most common misconceptions is that Tree Swallows can safely nest in bluebird boxes. This is untrue as, even though the swallow is smaller than the bluebird, the swallow lays a larger brood of eggs. These eggs – once hatched do not have enough room and often get trampled by older siblings in the struggle to feed.

For the layout of a properly dimensioned Tree Swallow nest box, click here. This layout can be used to build your own nest box in your very own yard.

However, once the housing is acquired the work of a good steward does not end. Nature Canada has provided a list of Beneficial Management Practices that property owners can follow to ensure the success of the Tree Swallows on their property.

It is also important to note that even though Bluebirds and Tree Swallows may compete for cavity spaces, it is also possible to place nest boxes in a way that can benefit both species. To learn more about the proper management techniques for both species, click here.

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