Tree Swallow

Nest box Plan and Information

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Tree Swallow
© Barbara Lynne
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Species in decline

This species is in decline in certain regions. You can put up a nest box to help if you live in the right region and habitat.

  • Declining
  • Not declining
Source: USGS

Nesting Range

Tree Swallow Range Source: BNA Online

Nesting Habitat

  • Grassland
  • Lake
  • Marsh
  • Shore

Attach Nest Box To

  • Pole

Known Nesting Period

Not Nesting
Some Nesting Occurence
Nesting in Most of Range
Source: BNA Online

Nest Box Placement

Nest Height:

5–6 feet

Minimum Spacing:

35 feet


South or East

Nest Box Measurements

Entrance Hole:

1 3/8"



Width & Length:

5 1/2"

5 1/2"

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Helpful Tips

  • Tree Swallows will do well in areas with high unmowed grass, preferably near water.
  • If competition with bluebirds arises over nest boxes, place another box nearby (20–25' away) for the bluebird.
  • Tree Swallows benefit from a "fledgling ladder" inside the nest box, under the entrance hole. This can be a series of shallow horizontal kerf cuts (which looks like a ladder) or a piece of hardware cloth stapled to the inside of the box. A fledgling ladder helps nestlings get their footing and climb out of the box.
  • Clean out the nest box once the young leave. Tree Swallows typically only attempt to raise one brood, and cleaning the box after they're finished makes it available for other species (e.g., bluebirds) that may attempt a second nest attempt.
  • Install a predator guard on the pole to keep predators out.
  • Tree Swallows line their nest with feathers, and more feathers can enhance chick survival. You can provide chicken feathers in the area for Tree Swallows to add to their nests, and they may even snatch them up before they hit the ground.

Did you know that NestWatch is seeking more data on this species?

Learn about Tree Swallow here.