Understanding The Factors That Drive Populations – A Study in Chimney Swifts

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Aerial insectivores – swallows, nighthawks, martins, flycatchers, and swifts – are showing some of the greatest population declines among birds, and it’s unclear exactly why. Chimney swifts, whose populations have declined by 52% in PA over the last 60 years, serve as a “canary in the coal mine” for this suite of species. This presentation will explain recent collaborative work among researchers in the state seeking to identify the possible drivers of population change in chimney swifts by collecting information on habitat use, diet, and feeding range, and how these might relate to land cover and pesticide use.

About Our Speaker

Margaret Rohde is the Conservation Manager for the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, a non-profit land conservancy that has protected close to 1,300 acres in Montgomery County. She oversees the management and maintenance of their 12 nature preserves and 24 miles of trail, as well the organization’s bird conservation efforts. Margaret is a North American Banding Council Certified Bander, manages a small summer banding station at one of WVWA’s preserves, and volunteers for the Cape May Raptor Banding Project each fall.