Photos by Barry Wallace
Barn Swallows get special protection on Hwy. 9
A second Barn Swallow temporary nesting facility has been built in King, near to the Hwy. 400 and Hwy. 9 intersection expansion. It is pictured above, west of Hwy. 400 and north of Hwy. 9, on the south side of both the Holland Marsh's south canal road and the canal itself. It is designed to to provide nesting sites for Barn Swallows that are to be displaced by the massive reconstruction of the Hwys. 400 & 9 interchange. Barn Swallows are a threatened species and were added to Ontario's Endangered Species Act list in January 2012. An earlier similar installation (pictures below) was created about three years ago, on Hwy. 9, east of Schomberg, where the Schomberg River crosses south under Hwy. 9 and becomes becomes part of the Holland Marsh canal system. The site near Schomberg provides approximately 32 artificial nest cups, which the swallows use as bases for their own nest construction. The site at Hwy. 400 has approximately 64 cups. The two King installations are among 95 Barn Swallow kiosks at 57 locations in the province. They provide more than 1,500 nesting cups. Why the investment? Barn Swallows are helpful to farmers because they devour huge numbers of insects that are often harmful to crops. Meanwhile, the population of Barn Swallows in Ontario has declined 65% between 1966 and 2009. The concept's success and measurement of results is to take three years, with an optional extension of two additional years. First verified results from certain location will probably be available soon.
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