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  1. #41
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2012
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    "Dolphins in the sky" What a beautiful analogy... they are!... and they are also, like dolphins, considered good luck to sailors- that's why the popularity of swallows in old tattoo designs- because of their long migrations- many swallows fly hundreds of miles over open ocean, and would sometimes stop to rest on a ship.


    Tell your BO to leave those swallow nests alone! The nests are protected too!
    I wonder if the lighter brown birds you are seeing aren't juvenile starlings...https://www.google.com/search?source...NDBCw&tbm=isch

    PiaffePlease- I was reminded of Atticus Finch reprimanding his daughter about killing a mockingbird when you told your story, and thought it wasn't that you were mean hearted, you just didn't know any better- that's why I was hopeful that with just a little bit of encouraging you could put that story in the past and see the barn swallows in a different way. And just so you know- as far as people taking a "better than thou" attitude about life on the farm- plenty of people have admitted to concerns about their barn cats- and on a hardcore birding forum- those people would be flamed to a pile of ash- Yet here there was not a peep of protest- I understand the need of a barn cat, and I have one, but I'm never going to talk about her on a birding forum- and I'm sure my one cat (and every other person who has admitted a cat at large) has done immesurably more harm to native songbirds than what you did to those barn swallows and I struggle with that guilt. Outdoor cats aren't illegal, but the damage they do is well understood.



  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,357

    Default

    Plain- thank you--I was misinformed about the permit. I do know that wineries, for instance, get them for large scale control, but that might be for the noise(?).

    I think that folks are lambasting, as TheJenners put it, because what you did was so senseless. Kill slugs, mice, etc. those are nuisance animals that cause problems. 2 small swallows are not a menace to you. Jenners--I don't normally hop on the rip 'em up train, but dumb actions that lead to animal death bother me, especially senseless killing of birds and other small animals (well, that and trophy hunting) for "entertainment" or because they are a personal nuisance. I'm glad I don't have that impulse, as I'd kill children and stupid adults with abandon!!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,780

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    Shooting swallows is *highly* illegal. So yes, people are prone to acting shocked over senseless illegal killing.

    PiaffePlease, now you know. Just don't do it again. Parent birds protect their babies. It's what they do, they can't harm you at all. Just use intimidation like the swooping.

    I have birds galore this year and am having a blast watching them all. 2 nests of chickadees are learning to fly already in the pines on the side of my house. I was used as an accidental landing strip twice...both baby flyer and myself were quite surprised, LOL!

    My hummingpeckers are all aggressive and in your face right now...love it! So busy protecting each nectar feeder...and when I go to refill them I get a few hovering inches from my nose with The Stare...kinda hilarious having a teeny tiny fighter pilot look at me like I was short!

    2 batches of barn swallows...one nest has 3 and the other has 4. 5 days between hatching so I should only have a few at a time learning to fly in the barn. Those often land on me when I do stalls. Then start giving out the Mayday, SOS peep, LOL! I watched one momma today swooping on one of the resident crows in the paddock. Poor crow was doing what it always does...hops around the dirt paddock picking up little rocks and putting them in piles. (I seem to have OCD crows) And got attacked by Momma Mayhem when it had zero interest in the barn or nests.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2010
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Phoebe's nest. I have them in my bar every year, just a single nest, two batches of babies. Yes, your description matches a Phoebe. You will also hear them calling to each other "Phoebe, phoebe!" They are insect eaters and beneficial to have around. They won't bother people or pets but will eat a lot of mosquitos.

    chicamuxen



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,718

    Default

    Lovely to see a phoebe's nest. And I love that Cornell site, I use it often for identifying bird's I've spotted.
    We don't have any barn swallows this year and I've seen very few cliff swallows by the river.
    We have WAY too many starlings and house sparrows around the barn, but I can't bring myself to do the actually killing. We do have two barn cats that do their best to keep up with the task.
    My next door neighbor has chimney swifts, which are quite rare now. We've really enjoyed watching them. They are amazingly fast, and can swoop straight down into the chimney at high speed!



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

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    I have chimney swifts! I keep meaning to have a chimney sweep come in the fall and clean my chimney and then cap it because I'm afraid to use it with those old nests in there.

    I like the swifts and if they didn't make me leary of using my chimney, I'd let them keep using it. Crazy things talk all night. I walked into my living room one night at about 12a.m. and they were chattering away. LOL!



  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,718

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    Alabama, before you cap your chimney, please contact this biologist: shannon.kearney@ct.gov
    She's my contact person on a chimney swift monitoring program here in CT, but I'm sure she can answer any questions you have about using your chimney, or can put you in touch with her counterpart in AL.
    They're amazing birds, aren't they? They remind of squadrons of fighter planes, the way they speed around in the sky
    And I know what you mean about the chattering. They sure are loud!



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    698

    Default Barn Swallows

    I love barn swallows. It is a sign of Summer, they build their nests in my barn every year and yes they are messy and sometimes they dive bomb me but I ignore them and eventually they ignore me. Funny, how they love to build their nests on top of light fixtures. I have strip lighting and they seem to find them irresistible.

    Yes, they are endangered and I have been told that they bring good luck to wherever they choose to nest. Swallows used to visit some places in Europe in their thousands but their numbers are much depleted.



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hinderella View Post
    Alabama, before you cap your chimney, please contact this biologist: shannon.kearney@ct.gov
    She's my contact person on a chimney swift monitoring program here in CT, but I'm sure she can answer any questions you have about using your chimney, or can put you in touch with her counterpart in AL.
    They're amazing birds, aren't they? They remind of squadrons of fighter planes, the way they speed around in the sky
    And I know what you mean about the chattering. They sure are loud!
    Thanks for that email address. If she tells me I won't have a fireplace hazard, they are welcome to stay/come back next year.

    I didn't realize they were down in numbers. That's too bad. They really are cool birds.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2012
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    I also have chimney swifts in our old house (which we left standing here where we built a new house), luckily for me they nested in the chimney that we didn't use- so I wasn't worried about that- Our headboard was right against that brick wall and I used to fall asleep listening to their soft chittering.

    The folks in Texas at Driftwood are the chimney swift authority- with lots of good info. There is a way to build a "chimney" for them... but as far as birdhouses go- it's a pricey project, but I'll admit I have entertained the idea. They are having a hard time because their original habitat was hollow standing dead timber in old growth forests... and when the settlers took that all away- they adopted the chimneys the settlers brought. Now those old chimneys are all getting torn down, or capped- and new homes don't have the big brick chimneys they require...pellet stoves just aren't going to cut it. You will see a lot of swift activity if you visit old towns where there are still a lot of old homes standing- but not at all in new neighborhoods.

    I love their squadron flying... and when it's time to settle in for the night it's amazing to watch them fall into the chimney.http://www.chimneyswifts.org/



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Hinderella, I've emailed your contact. I'll let you know what I hear.

    I'll check out the people in Texas, as well. Thanks PlainandTall.



  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
    Posts
    786

    Default

    Well, since some people hate swallows and similar birds and others love them, I was really bummed when the one nest of barn swallows in my barn was attacked by starlings. Found one baby dead on the floor and last night found another one hanging upside down from the next. Parents were frantic as to be expected.

    I removed the dead baby hanging from the nest this morning but have no idea if there are any other babies left. I guess the parent swallows will restart another batch in another nest nearby.

    Yes, they are messy, but man do they put a dent in the flys and mosquitoes.

    I hope they are successful with the next hatching.



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Yea! Chimney swift nest do not pose a fire hazard. Not only do I not have to lose my swifts, they are saving me the cost of the cap. Win-win!



  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul. 7, 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
    Posts
    350

    Default

    I love my swallows too! I'd have to physically go after anyone who tried to hurt them.
    I have at least 12 nests in my barn. I love watching them return every year and watching all the babies hatch, fledge and learn to fly. I will probably have close to 50 swallows in the barn when they are all hatched.
    The mild inconvenience of cleaning up after them is SO worth all the insects they eat -- don't need any fly system when they're around.



  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    1,520

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    Don’t know what your birds are but this a link http://s1136.photobucket.com/albums/...bles/Swallows/
    to some nesting Swallows in our barn that is a similar picture. We have 14 nests this year, each having around 4-6 hatchlings. They generally hatch and leave the nest at different times so we are not inundated at any one time. Ours is an old bank barn, early 17th century and the ceiling is about 9 feet high, 70 feet long. Swoop and dive up and down the aisle never bothers us or the horses. When I am out mowing fields especially late afternoon there are hundreds following the mower around!



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2003
    Posts
    398

    Default

    I love my barn swallows too!

    I've just had the one nest that they've returned to for three years, I'd love it if they would build more...anything I can do to encourage this?

    Its funny, there is a dark coloured spot on my barn wall and they always get confused and fly to it as if it were a nest. They always end up in the actual nest though!

    Mine have never seemed to dive bomb myself, the dogs or even my ancient house cat that will sometimes accompany me to the barn. Although there have been a few close calls when I've suddenly appeared in the barn door from around the corner...



  17. #57
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    1,959

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    I'm another swallow lover! Sadly one of the babies fell into my chicken pen this year and the hens killed it... It was sooooo close to learning to fly and it was my fault because I startled them while trying to take a picture. I felt SO awful and was bawling like a child while I buried him. Ugh, I still feel sick about it. I am consoled slightly by the fact that the other 6 in the nest are fine and I'm now seeing them swooping through the barn and over the pastures like crazy acrobats. I just love watching them fly



  18. #58
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PiaffePlease View Post
    Really? You like swallows?

    A few years ago I had several swallows build a nest in my carport. Every time I left the house they attempted to attack me. I knocked down their nest (no babies) every day, and it was always back the next day. I even put up strips of nails to keep them away. That didnt work either. This went on for a month before my husband shot them. I know it sounds mean, but they were vicious and I tried repetitively to evict them humanely.

    BTW, this does look like a swallow's nest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guin View Post
    I have a lot of words, but I'm not going to write them down, because the Mod would probably smack me.
    Wait, here are some words that don't need to be bleeped out: PARK YOUR CAR SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR A MONTH. But hey, that might be "inconvenient."
    DITTO

    we LOVE our sparrows, barn swallows and even our killdeer's (bless their hearts). We even actually take measures to PROTECT them

    I cant imagine the horror you placed on these little birds. WOW, what a piece of work. RIP little ones....

    do you know that birds mate for life, and they have really strong family bonds

    These little birds are so sweet, gentle and BENEFICIAL (obviously you dont live on a farm)

    see my recent topic. ive been in awe ALL day because I got to hold some of these magnificent babies.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=358827



  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2012
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Posts
    1

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    "Barn and cliff swallow nests are prone to external parasite infestations. Colonies may not be reoccupied because of heavy infestations, and if parasite populations become too great, both species will prematurely desert their nests, abandoning their young." Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

    It's a good idea to remove the nests every year or two. They'll build new ones and the babies will be healthier.

    According to the local Audubon Society president (my neighbor) its most likely if you saw starlings going after swallow babies it's because the parents had abandoned the nest.



  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Update...

    My Phoebes are back! Yea! And seem to be a bit less concerned with me being around. Unfortunately, they've built a new nest in the rafters above my old gelding's stall. He has in/out access 24/7 but he LOVES his stall. I just have to hope none of the babies fall out and get squished.

    BTW, gumtreestables, if you're still here, I swear those pictures of the cat in the muck bucket could have been straight out of my album - so much so, I actually wondered why you had pics of my cat. LOL!
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com



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