BC List Status:
Blue (Considered to be of Special Concern)
Several species of swallows, swifts and martins can be mistaken for Barn Swallow. The similarly coloured, but stouter Cliff Swallow or the high flying Violet-green and Tree Swallows often occupy similar habitats. The open, cup-shaped nest made of mud flakes, feathers and organic matter is a characteristic distinguishing Barn Swallow from other species.
Loss of nesting habitat through the conversion and demolition of barns and other rural structures to urban and suburban uses.
Distribution coincides with areas undergoing significant urbanization and natural habitat loss including draining and infilling of wetlands.
The use of pesticides to control plant and insect pests may have lethal and sub-lethal effects as well as impacting reproductive success and food availability.
Young swallows may die from nest infestations of blowfly and other parasitic insects and mites. Other deaths of young occur from severe hot or cold temperatures, fallen nests, and introduced predators, including rats, and grey squirrels.
Swallows, in search of flying insects are often attracted to open roads and road verges. Mortalities from cars may increase as natural food producing habitats decline and road densities increase with development.
Barn Swallow nests are often removed or barriers are installed to prevent access to historic nest platforms due to noise and dropping buildup during the breeding season.
Light pollution in and around urban centres
Conservation actions should address threats and limiting factors identified in the COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica in Canada (2011). Assess, inventory and monitor using methodology set out in the RISC standards #16 Inventory Methods for Swallows and Swifts (Version 2.0). For swallows and other species that have extensive distances between nesting and foraging areas, determination of individual populations should be based on nest sites and nest colonies, not on locations of foraging individuals even if they are 5km apart.
This species is subject to protections and prohibitions under the Federal Migratory Birds Convention Act and Species at risk Act as well as the BC Wildlife Act. Habitat for this species may also be governed under provincial and federal regulations including the Fish Protection Act and Federal Fisheries Act as well as Regional and local municipal bylaws.