Statewide Colony Inventory 2021

Bank swallows (Riparia riparia) were listed as state threatened in 1989, and annual counts along the Sacramento and Feather rivers have indicated a steady decline in bank swallow populations, largely due to bank stabilization activities. A statewide colony inventory was conducted in 1987 and provided the basis for the 1989 listing. Over the spring and summer months of 2021, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in collaboration with our bank swallow conservation partners, intends to repeat the statewide inventory to assess and update the current status of California’s bank swallow population.

During the 2021 field season, surveyors will locate active colonies and collect colony-related data by surveying suspected habitat throughout California. This inventory will allow CDFW to estimate California’s bank swallow population size and develop a robust long-term monitoring plan. Surveys conducted in 2021 will provide a new baseline for tracking bank swallow population trends.

To participate in the 2021 survey effort and contribute to bank swallow conservation, view the survey area map (use Firefox or Chrome) and use the sign-up page to register for survey areas. Be sure to read the Statewide Colony Inventory Survey Methods, the required reference materials, and complete the volunteer form before conducting surveys. Any project related questions can be directed to Jeff McFarland at or (916) 956-7044.


Protocols and Datasheets

  • Statewide Colony Inventory Survey Methods PDF
  • Colony Inventory Datasheet PDF
  • Survey Log PDF
  • Surveyor Background Form PDF
  • Informational Flier PDF

Data Entry

  • Colony Inventory Portal Link
  • Survey Log Portal Link
  • Surveyor Background Portal Link

Required Reference Materials

  • Bank Swallow ID Quick Reference PDF
  • Identification and Survey Techniques PowerPoint PDF
  • Sacramento and Feather River Survey Methods PDF

Additional Information and Documents

  • Volunteer Form (Required prior to conducting surveys) PDF
  • Oath of Allegiance PDF
  • Bank swallow 1987 Statewide Survey PDF
  • Property Access Letter Docx
  • Contact List PDF

Training Videos

  • Video 1 - How to Prepare for Surveys: Part 1 Link
  • Video 2 - How to Prepare for Surveys: Part 2 Link
  • Video 3 - Conducting Surveys: Part 1 Link
  • Video 4 - Conducting Surveys: Part 2 Link
  • Video 5 - Conducting Surveys: Part 3 Link
  • Video 6 - Safety in the Field Link
bank swallow flying near nest entrance

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) near a nest entrance

Bank Swallow in hand

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)

eroding bank - habitat

A colony nesting on an eroding, vertical bank on the Sacramento River