In partnership with Assiniboine Food Forest Inc., Brandon Riverbank
Inc. would like to officially proclaim itself as the swallow capital of Manitoba!
The proclamation comes after an in-depth swallow bird count of the Riverbank area
recently, where Riverbank officials anticipate approximately 1,000 young swallows will
be fledging this summer – a number that Dave Barnes, a local nature enthusiast and
outdoorsman who is the chairperson and founding member of the Assiniboine Food
Forest, believes is accurate.
“The reasoning was because the habitat is absolutely ideal for swallows at the
Riverbank,” said Barnes. “I believe there are more nesting pairs of swallows there than
on any other similar-sized land area in Manitoba.”
There are four species of swallows breeding at the Riverbank. In order of population
size, they are as follows: cliff swallow, purple martin, tree swallow and barn swallow.
The Riverbank grounds feature four thriving purple martin castles near the Discovery
Centre patio, built and managed by Barnes himself.
Swallows live in a wide range of habitats. They are dependent on flying insects and can
be found in any open habitat including grasslands, open woodland, savanna, marshes,
mangroves and scrubland, from sea level to high alpine areas.