Aerial insectivore populations have been declining, and the reason for decline is unclear. There is recent concern over Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) populations, an aerial insectivore species, due to conflicting findings in current populations. We observed 20 sites in Harvard and Falmouth, Massachusetts from May through July, 2013 to identify factors that influenced site selection and nest success to improve understanding of Barn Swallow breeding behavior. Our data suggest that human activity can determine whether a site is selected for nesting, and that the presence of Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe) and European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) can affect Barn Swallow nest success.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Biology and Biotechnology
Major Qualifying Project
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