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Dewees Island has been selected as a research site to better understand the nesting range of the Tree Swallow. These birds are a familiar site during the summer in northern North America but are not sighted on Dewees Island until they begin their fall migration. Over that last few decades, researchers have document changes in many bird’s behavior and shifts in their ranges due to factors such as habitat loss and changing climate.
Mark Stanback, PhD, Davidson College Professor of Biology along with folks at Cornell are conducting research to look at how Tree Swallows are expanding their breeding range into the Southeast. The data suggests that Dewees Island sits on the extreme southeastern edge of their breeding range.
Tree Swallows nest in tree cavities and they will also utilize nest boxes which makes them very easy to study. The Dewees Island Environmental Program will install 10 Tree Swallow nest boxes (provided by Davidson College) to assist researchers studying the breeding range of these birds. The nest boxes will be located on the Impoundment berm along Lake Timicau road. If Tree Swallows do take up residence in the boxes then look for them in spring and early summer.
If you would like to help install the nest boxes please meet at the Huyler House on Wednesday, January 18th at 10:30 am. Bring work gloves and wear shoes/clothes that can get muddy. We should finish by 11:30 am. Please RSVP @ 843-568-3994 if you are coming.
To learn more about these birds please click here.