HADLEY, Mass. (AP) — Supporters of what is believed to be the largest colony of barn swallows in Massachusetts are protesting the proposed demolition of the colony’s decades-old nesting habitat.

Activists say they are gathering Saturday at the Bri-Mar stable at the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Hadley.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed demolishing the building.

The group Save Our Swallows, an organization that activists say includes scientists and community members, has opposed the move, saying the barn is home to a thriving colony of the swallows, including 37 pairs in 2018.

Managers of the refuge have said the barn is at risk of collapse.

Barn swallows are in steep decline in the the Northeastern United States and in Canada.

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