The Alaska Swallow Monitoring Network is a collaborative, statewide effort to investigate the impact of large-scale ecosystem change on birds. It is coordinated by the Alaska Songbird Institute in Fairbanks, and includes partners around the state.
Together we are studying Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), migratory songbirds that readily use nest boxes around human development. Swallows are aerial insectivores. (This means they eat flying insects!) Many aerial insectivores are declining throughout their ranges, but most rapidly in the north. They are highly sensitive to changes in seasonal timing (called phenology).
The Alaska Swallow Monitoring Network is a way for scientists and communities to study this issue. Together we aim to build a geographically large data set that can better reveal population trends and changes to nesting chronology in Alaskan swallows.