Bank Swallow eggs, nests and nest shelters destroyed by construction company

Windsor, Ontario - February 24, 2017 - Environment and Climate Change Canada

On February 9, 2017, numbered company 1762690 Ontario Inc., known as Piroli Construction, and its president Robert Piroli pleaded guilty in Ontario Provincial Court to offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Fines totaling $7,500 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

While on patrol in June 2015, an Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officer observed hundreds of Bank Swallows flying over a construction site on Seacliff Drive in Leamington, Ontario. Upon inspection of the site, the officer found that numerous Bank Swallow eggs, nests and nest shelters had been destroyed. Construction work at the site was being conducted by Piroli Construction. 

It is an offence under the Migratory Birds Regulations for anyone to kill, hunt, capture, injure, harass, take or disturb a migratory bird or to damage, destroy, remove or disturb migratory bird eggs, nests and nest shelters without a permit. Permits are available only under specific circumstances that include for scientific purposes (scientific collection, educational, salvage and rehabilitation), aviculture, taxidermy, damage or danger, airport safety, and migratory game bird hunting. 

Quick Facts

  • Over the last 40 years, Canada has lost 98% of its Bank Swallow population.
  • Bank Swallows nest in burrows dug into exposed soil banks near ponds, rivers, sand pits and quarries, and some construction sites with these features. To reduce the risk of damaging or destroying a Bank Swallow nest, it is recommended that persons conducting work near potential nesting areas avoid scheduling excavation or construction activities during the spring and summer nesting season. 
  • The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) helps turn environmental harm to environmental good. In the spirit of the polluter pays principle, those who cause environmental damage or harm to wildlife are required to take responsibility for their actions. Prosecutors and judges can require environmental offenders to pay financial penalties (fines, awards and/or settlements) to the EDF, thereby helping to improve Canada‚Äôs natural environment.


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