Black Swifts


$11,697 still needed for full funding

Black swifts are a bird species considered at highest risk of endangerment. They only nest near or behind waterfalls that persist throughout the year. Persistent waterfalls are those fed by melting snowfields and glaciers rather than just spring rains. If all of Glacier National Park’s glaciers melt because of climate change, will the black swifts still use these dried waterfall sites for nesting?

Black swifts are insectivores. Pesticide use, mismatches of insect hatches and a bird’s arrival on nesting grounds caused by climate change are also considered risks. Many of Glacier’s waterfalls support nesting black swifts, but without additional resources, few waterfalls are inspected each year because most require significant backcountry travel.

Currently, the park boasts nearly half (six) of all known nest sites in Montana. By locating additional nest sites, biologists can begin to monitor the colonies to ensure they are stable and do not require further protection.

This project would invest paid staff hours to train volunteers to complete the monitoring program work and experience the park in a close-up, intimate view near waterfalls. This volunteer work will provide an opportunity to those looking for more than just a backcountry adventure, while providing critical scientific data that will allow park leaders to make more informed management decisions.



Posted on

July 18, 2016