Stephan Baker and I have just finished cleaning out and sanitizing the Tree Swallow boxes in preparation for the influx of birds in the next couple of weeks. As has been our policy in the last few years, we have temporarily blocked the entrance holes to keep House Sparrows from using the boxes. We will gradually remove the covers by stages and in different sections of the field based on the number of swallows that arrive daily. When the swallow numbers are higher, our observations tell us that they have a much better chance of competing against the non-native and more aggressive sparrows. It is important that covers are not removed until it is time. We monitor the field daily. The Tree Swallows are not going to leave and they will be busy feeding and pairing up for the first week or so after arrival. Thanks to a donation from Humber College, we have replaced some of the aging boxes with new ones. FOSS looks after all the boxes in the Swallow Field as well as five boxes west of the Yacht Club. There are other "bird boxes" in the park which were not installed by us and which may or may not meet the very specific needs of this species. We do not look after them.
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