I didn't know that chimney swift #s were going down.
I grew up in a center chimney colonial (HUGE chimney) & we would have fledgling swifts come out of the fireplaces (never used) from time to time. scared the bee-hoozus out of our poor grandmother one night. Can't say I blame her.
Every time one got in, my dad would start screaming that it was a bat, that he was going to get rabies, and then would send my mother in to dispatch the "bat". Luckily, it was always a swift (rabies free!)
We say good morning to the swallows in our barn all season long. They have never attacked us, and I think it's because they know our comings and goings...they do dive-bomb the cats though. I'm not thrilled with the poop under the nest in the aisle but I clean it daily as I'm cleaning the barn anyway. We love them and appreciate the work they do eating the mosquitoes!
Last edited by hundredacres; Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM.
Ok, you guys realize that I am completely envious and this thread is taunting me. I am eagerly waiting for the barns swallows to arrive up north. I am like a kid in a candy store when they arrive here....I am literally beside myself with pure joy. There are up to 15 nests in the barn and two are above the lights in the grooming aisle. I groom and watch the progression from sitting on the nest to hatch to seeing beaks peek out over the nest to accept Mom and Dad's bug offerings and of course thru to when they fledge.
How far North are they now? We could have our own COTH "Swallow migration watch"...
They aren't in NE Indiana yet . This morning I heard the most unusual bird call...wish I'd had my phone...it sounded like one of those whistles with the syick that makes it warble like, tuuuuawwweeeeeeeiiiit!. It was still dark so I couldn't see it. I love the birds
I have swallows each year in my barn. And they look pretty similar to the pics you have posted. It started with a cute couple, who had 4 kids. Then I had 6 birds flying everywhere. Then, the year after the SIX came back. Adding that summer 4 other babies to the family, but 2 died (fell on the ground off the nest). Then the year after, one of the kids brang his girlfriend with him, and I had like... 8 birds and 2 nests. And last summer, I had like 14 of them and 2 more nests! It was too much. We took all the nest down this fall when they left (they were all built like your, near a lightbulb, and we were redoing lighting and electricity) and we are looking into trying to make them nest in the roof instead of in the barn where the boxstalls are. Because swallows always come back a the same place year after year. They are sure cute, but the poop everywhere, and the flying at 10cm of our head (they don't mind us at all, not scared and not agressive). Because I have 2 8fts dutch doors in my barn, that stays open all summer.. they think it is pretty cool
I have kingbirds that insist on nesting on the light fixtures in my barn every year. Their nests have a mud base that sticks the rest to the light. The rest consists of horse hair, a little leaf litter, and a bunch of moss. I should know since I knock them down daily I've managed to keep ahead of them this spring, but had to give up last year (eggs appeared). It's not that I mind the birds so much, but do like to close up my barn at night which either means locking parents in or out.
It can not be a King Bird. I LOVE my King Birds. I HATE swallows. King Birds eat tons of bugs, and chase the crows, sparrows, starlings, swallows away. City bred King Birds are harassing to people and others. Country bred King Birds are not harassing. It has to do with territory. My King Birds just showed up a week ago. I do not think they have decided on a nest yet. They may be still house shopping. They do not build in barns. They will keep their young and feed them months after they have fledged. They move from tree to tree. King Birds have a white tip on their tail, and they have a distinct chatter when they fly. Saw one yesterday chasing a crow away. The crows were harassing mr fox, and the king birds were going to have none of that and chased the crows away. Thanks. I love my foxes. I think it is not a king bird nest in your barn. They prefer a more open area to nest in. Too confining. And they love to patrol an area and a barn is too confining to do aerial patrols.
The carolina wren's nest in my barn. Quiet as a mouse. Not messy either. You would pretty much not notice their nest. They keep ALL birds out of the barn, especially the starlings. Yeah!
Phoebee's maybe. Looks a tad big for a phoebee nest. They do like to have horse hair in their nests. So maybe. I have one now under my porch, on top of a column. Super bug eaters. But mine are still in the egg, not hatched out yet. I am in N. AL.
Get a better picture. I am very into my birds. I just heard a white throated sparrow - male singing yesterday evening. They are only in the northern states to CAN, so why it was here, maybe passing through, or staying for ever. ?? Was very lovely to listen to him.
Swallows are here in SC. I went out yesterday morning to shout for my collie to come in for breakfast, and a swallow exploded up off the top of my porch column.
I don't know why, being barn swallows, they choose to ignore my barns and instead build their nests right by my front door. I guess because it's a hundred year old house and their great-great-grandswallows built their nests on my porch columns and they see no reason to change.
They dive bomb me and the dogs all season. But so far, they always miss me. So I just ignore them. And anything that eats bugs is welcome at my farm in the swamps of South Carolina!
This year's nest is right above my gelding's feed bucket and I can see the bird (him/her, don't know) from mid-body up. It has gotten used to me enough that it doesn't fly away when I come feed. I could probably reach up and touch it - but I'm thinking that would make for a very unhappy bird. I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow.
The bird on the nest is dark - just about black. Not a swallow, though, from what I can tell. Doesn't fly like one if that makes any sense. Also, the tail is different.
rmh_rider, I can't believe your Carolina Wrens were quiet. Mine at my old place were GROUCHY, b!tchy little birds. I loved them. Thought they were funny as all get out. They built a nest that looked like a grass cave over the garage door opener in one of the bay in my garage. They were good parents, too.
"Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com
My bug eating birds I have literally seen them swoop down over my horses back and get a bug.
Yes, 'Bama the wren nest is a tunnel type structure. Neat. Only time my wrens are loud are when they are calling to their babies to come out of the nest. When they do that, I open all the barn doors, and leave the dogs in the yard with the gate closed. I have NO cats, and no cats come here. Both mr. rider and I are allergic. We have no use for barn cats.
Wrens are so funny, busy, buzzy, flickering. A pair will live year round in the same location. Mine have been living in "hay ho's" in the hay. They like to go to bed early (well before dark) and get up early. I had one of them doing the spider man climbing on the brick yesterday, looking for bugs. It jumped and climbed on the window screen too. I have found if one sees us through the window, seriously, it jumps up or sings right out the window to say hi, or I see you. They keep my house/barn clean of spiders, wasps, and any other bugs. The phoebee sitting in nest and the male out guarding on the yoshino cherry tree branch do not mind them.
As for barn swallows, the poop everywhere, drama all the time, in and out pooping, messy nests, messy babies, messy nests. None for me. I do have to say we had after the last BAD day long multiple tornado day a couple years ago a tree swallow family came to rest and visit an empty bluebird house. I wished they had stayed. They were friendly, and very beautiful. But they moved on after a few days. There were 2 adults and maybe 2-3 babies who could fly.
Our farm has always had around 15 swallow nests. I've been keeping records for 18 years, and the last 3 years have been very disappointing. We've had almost total predation of the babies by magpies. Right now, we've got only 3 returning swallows. Their migration is one of the most remarkable in nature...approximately 6,000 miles each way from Britain to South Africa and back. I adore them! We never apply insect spray to our garden plants, and have horses, donkeys, and sheep, which produce plenty of dung, which encourages more insects for the birds. We have one pair that has discovered a 3" hole at the apex of one of our barns. They have been nesting in there for 4 years, completely protected from predators (it's a storage barn for our "stuff," where the doors are kept closed). The parents have taught the babies to fly through the hole without incident. Where the birds nest in our carport, we just park the cars outside until they migrate.