Foraging habitat use of breeding barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) in farmland, estuary, and island


The decline of barn swallow populations may be mainly caused by the reduction of their foraging habitat. A clear understanding of the links between proportions of available and used microhabitats of foraging barn swallows in farmland, estuary, and island habitats would enhance our understanding of the foraging habitat requirements of this species and on the effects of anthropogenic activities, such as habitat conversion (e.g., land to water, crop fields to non-arable land), on their distribution. We hypothesized that: 1) foraging swallows would be more abundant in the most common microhabitat; and 2) swallow abundance would decrease with increased foraging distance from the nest-site. As predicted by our first hypothesis, swallows were more abundant in the most common microhabitat (i.e., crop fields in farmland and non-arable land on the island). Our data also support our second hypothesis that increased foraging distances from the nest-site negatively affected foraging swallow abundance. In summary, barn swallows foraged in the habitats most convenient to nest-sites, however, management of agricultural lands should include non-arable lands in the composition of available foraging microhabitats.

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Kang, S. and Kaller, M. (2013) Foraging habitat use of breeding barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) in farmland, estuary, and island. Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 30-33. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.31004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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