Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) are the most widespread swallows in the world and there are lots of them to go around. There are exceptions however and southern Ontario may be one of the places. The main reason being given is loss of habitat. As I wander the country concessions and sideroads of King Township, I'm always looking at wooden barns of the last century crumpling into themselves and eventually being replaced, oft-times, by metal or plastic barns. Pictured below are examples of the two, from King Township.
Barn Swallows were always able to get into old wood barns and unlike most other birds, tolerated human company while they went about their business, above the heads of cows and farmers in the stables. Modern barns, although they have windows and doors that can be opened when required, have the ability to be hermetically-sealed so that no bird can enter and call one home. Last week, while driving around the Holland Marsh, in King Township, I stopped at a bridge which had a wooden-beam superstructure. There were dozens of Barn Swallows swooping under the bridge and along the canal it spanned. They were beautiful and sounded cheerful. I suppose the future will demand that we be thankful for the Barn Swallows we do find. Please comment if you wish.
BtheB Barn photos by BarrytheBirder