View Full Version : I have my first barn swallows!

Jul. 16, 2010, 03:14 PM
I saw them appear one day and hadn't seen them around before. After I pointed them out to DH he said that they follow him around on the mower and he recognized their "funny flying". So far I've seen 2 nests that look almost done under one overhang and 2 started under the other overhang. Yay! Any birds that eat bugs are a-ok with me!

Jul. 16, 2010, 04:48 PM
love love love barn swallows!

Jul. 16, 2010, 04:56 PM
My nest of swallows are just about ready to fly away...but they are being lazy bones about it. They just squat up on the tiny little nest, grumpy faces on, yelling at mom and dad to hurry up with the grub. We had 4, but I think he got...eaten...or something. These are the same ones Mr. CC set up a fan and mister for during our heat wave last week:lol:

Jul. 16, 2010, 05:06 PM
They are the best entertainment for me & barncat.
After I feed and finish barnchores we both sit & watch them.

The first couple years I had one nest, one pair of swallows.
Now I have 2 but they are the same pair.
They had to build a 2nd nest when their last fledgling refused to move.

I watched Mom & Dad build #2 then spend a whole day trying to convince Jr to move.
Ends up the folks moved into the new nest.
Baby is still living in Nest #1.
Won't he/she be surprised when the folks have new fledglings :D

Jul. 16, 2010, 08:09 PM
My couple are sitting on their second clutch of eggs now. ABout 1.5 weeks I think? So another 1.5 weeks to go for family #2.
And every year they do a second set I worry that the babies will hatch during a massive nasty heat wave and die.
Which is why I also set up fans for the swallows, LOL!
I accidentally killed one baby from the last batch of 3 though. Took the screens off the vent fans to brush them clean and while getting the ladder to put them back up lazy late flyer baby #3 finally decided to jump off the conduit and give flying a try. Too close to the running fan. :no::(
I'm determined to keep this batch safe though.

Oldenburg Mom
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:11 PM
I am sad. My swallows moved to the big barn as I think grackles ate their first eggs. Boo hoo hoo.

I miss them


Oldenburg Mom
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:12 PM
I am sad. My swallows moved to the big barn as I think grackles ate their first eggs. Boo hoo hoo.

I miss them


Jul. 16, 2010, 10:41 PM
Aren't they great!!! For a couple of years we didn't have any because of my barn cat- an absolute killing machine. They moved back this year waaaaay up near the top of the trusses where the cat can't get them. (The Kestrals decided the garage was safer.) When they nested lower in our old barn, we'd check the babies by waving a hat in front of their nest- they'd pop their little heads up thinking the movement was mom and dad bringing some vittles.

Jul. 16, 2010, 11:15 PM
I am in love with my babies. I stood out there after feeding tonight, just watching mom and dad bring bugs in. Mom (?) dropped a big dragonfly in the aisle...that would have made a nice meal!

One little bugger is out on a beam, just away from the nest. They are so close to flying!! I can't wait--they are so cool! I was mowing tonight, and the parents would swoop in to catch whatever I was scaring up.

pony grandma
Jul. 17, 2010, 12:24 AM
There was a barn swallow thread about a month or so ago. I have a cool barnswallow story that I posted there.

It was the 4th of July and we missed going to town for the fireworks that early evening because we saw the two nests of young barnswallows taking flight lessons that pre-evening. So my husband, being the good sport that he is, fired up the tractor and the brush hog and set forth out in the pasture by the back of the barn. Back and forth he went up on the horizon and the evening light with two happy sets of parents and their young diving up and down along behind him as he stirrred up the insects lying in the grass! What a sight it was. Forever etched in my mind. It was one of those ultimate country memories.

And the sight of the swallow babies lined up head to tail, tail to head alternately on a beam in the loft, tight as a tick together, when I go up there. They sit very still and it doesn't phase them that I am there.

We have a second set of babies nesting right now on top of the fluorescent light in the barn aisle. There are four hungry beaks speaking to me and momma is busy bringing the grub. She's in and out, in and out, while we're mucking and feeding, don't mind us! those babies are hungry! They are right over the crosstie area so we're grooming in the stalls (b/c the horseflies are outside, can't tie out there). TG they aren't over a stall, usually they are up in the loft but we have 4 other nests up there.

I just can't mind the swallows, it's the grackles and the cowbirds that I have to banish because they are so nasty.

Congrats on your beautiful babies!

Jul. 17, 2010, 02:43 AM
Ours have their second set flying. There were four but only two come back
to the I-Beam to spend the night with Mom and Dad. These two are staying
longer than the first batch of five. Hope the others are okay. They are outside our back door--can't convince them the barn is where they belong.
Our older dog chases and barks at them and they dive bomb her and make
her bark more--pretty funny to watch.

We've had two sets of parents for a couple of years and two nests but this year only one pair returned.

Jul. 17, 2010, 06:30 AM
I am in love with my babies. I stood out there after feeding tonight, just watching mom and dad bring bugs in. Mom (?) dropped a big dragonfly in the aisle...that would have made a nice meal!

Mom may have thrown the dragonfly there. :winkgrin:
I've seen the dad come in with an enormous moth and try to feed the babies before. And stand there on the edge of the nest trying to cram it down a peeping throat. Despite the moth being roughly the same size as the babies.
Then watched him stop and carefully tear the wings off the moth and try again to fit it into one of the babies.
Finally saw hiim give up and drop it in the stall in disgust and go out to find something more size appropriate, LOL!

Jul. 17, 2010, 07:45 AM
There is nothing cuter than all the babies peeking out from the nest! My husband was at a baseball game and swallows had built a nest in the dugout - he said the mom swallow kept divebombing the players, and the babies were chirping like mad. The kids loved it.

Jul. 17, 2010, 09:00 AM
After years of the barn swallows building under the eaves of my house (it doesn't even resemble a barn...:lol:) with only one nest under the barn overhang years ago, one couple decided to try inside my barn this year.

It's been interesting, to say the least. One baby fell out, twice, and since there was no way to get all the way up to the top of the barn roof inside, I set up a basket for baby in my loft. However, the parents ignored it. :( I found it dead on the ground a few days later (baby's 3rd and final fall).

When the others started perching on the nest edge, I came in one morning and found one in my mare's stall. One wing was obviously not working properly...barely at all. Not knowing what to do, I kept the stall doors closed and fed my mare outside. I watched, and was relieved to see the parents were feeding the little one in the stall.

It took a little over a week, but it recovered. I was concerned, though, when I looked in the stall one morning and didn't see the baby. I wondered if the neighbor's outdoor kitty had found it, although I had never seen that cat IN my stalls. Boy, was I happy when all of a sudden, it came out over the stall door, airborne, flying nearly right into me. :lol:

Looks like the parents are readying for another batch. I hope these babies are a little more coordinated than the last ones.

Jul. 17, 2010, 12:32 PM
PSA for those who like birdies in their barn–don't hang those fly-catcher strips where they might run into them. They get trapped by the glue and die. :(

Lady Counselor
Jul. 17, 2010, 12:43 PM
I love barn swallows. Unfortunately, those stupid English sparrows have moved in too. They harassed the swallows so much they went from two clutches a year to one (first clutch was normally around the time of the sparrow's first clutch)
Now I get one clutch per year of swallows and two of the stupid sparrows. If I can find a way to drive the sparrows out, I will do it. :mad:
I also have been getting a flycatcher nesting on an outside light. Great fun to watch them feed!

Jul. 17, 2010, 03:50 PM
Awesome. :D They help with bug control. I love mine.

Jul. 17, 2010, 04:07 PM
Some swallow pictures; http://s784.photobucket.com/albums/yy121/Equibrit/Swallows/

Jul. 17, 2010, 04:08 PM
Love my swallows, too. Peg

Jul. 17, 2010, 04:36 PM
Thanks for all of the fun swallow stories! I missed the last thread about them so sorry for starting one so soon. :) I left for work at dawn this morning to see them swooping about in the horse pastures. They seem pretty fun so far!

Jul. 18, 2010, 08:30 AM
My barn doesn't even have horses in it yet (still building!), and we already have 2 Barn Swallow nests.

Picture of our 1st residents :):


Jul. 20, 2010, 10:44 AM
I have had swallows in my barn for a couple of years. This year there has been 3 families. Sometimes I have as many as 10 swallows flying around the barn.
I have noticed that my fly population is way down this year! I haven't had to use fly spray much at all. I think it is the swallows keeping the insect population down.
I am grateful to them.
Now if I can figure out how to get rid of the pigeons! They are so messy!