ABSTRACT

This study presents breeding phenology, fledgling production, and nest success for the Black Swift (Cypseloides niger) over a 22 year period at the Box Canyon colony, Ouray, Colorado, USA. Data were collected annually from 1996 to 2017 by direct observation from arrival of the birds at the nesting colony until all adults and fledglings departed. We documented dates of first arrival, laying, incubation onset, hatching, and fledging, and determined the intervals from arrival to laying, laying to incubation, length of incubation, and length of the nestling period in each year. Breeding events followed each other closely and showed little chronological change throughout the study. We identified a negative trend in the number of nest attempts and fledged Black Swift chicks over time but found no relationship between these 2 trends and the environmental factors of summer temperature, summer precipitation, or tourist visitation. The Mayfield estimate of nest success for all nest attempts was 77.5%. There was unexplained annual variation in nest success, but the trend in nest success remained static, with no correlation between nest success and temperature, precipitation, or tourist visitation. This study represents the largest dataset and longest-duration investigation into the breeding phenology and nest success of the Black Swift.

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