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Birds in the barn?

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    Birds in the barn?

    The barn is 40x200 sq feet in a steel building with huge beams and an 80x200 attached arena. Ideal for sparrows. Zillions of them all summer. From time to time there is a dead baby on the floor. They will pick up hair for the nests during shedding season. It's noisy and they have made a mess of parts of the insulation under the roof. I remember reading an article years ago that said if barn swallows move in they will drive the sparrows out.

    It's true. One pair showed up about 5 years ago, but they skipped the barn. BO's brother built a really nice condo bird house but they didn't use it. Each summer a few more showed up and started nested in the beams supporting the roof.. This year? Amazing. Absolutely amazing. The sparrows are gone. The swallows are swooping in and out all the time. Very cool to watch. I don't know how or why they started coming to the farm. There isn't much we could do to entice them into the barn other than putting up the bird house.

    I don't know what or where I read about this. We are enjoying a new level of peace and quiet.
    "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

    #2
    I love my barn swallows! We had them for years, then lost them. But, this year we finally had a pair return and with a little carpentry help they successfully nested and fledged 3 babies. This fall I will add a few more ledges to the rafters, in hopes of getting a colony eventually. Amazing insect catchers and so fun to watch. I'll even put up with the fact that the preferred nesting spot was right over where I usually tie one horse to groom him. We moved for a few days during fledging, being dive bombed by a swallow is nerve wracking!
    I do think they have also helped with the fly population, haven't had any stable flies at all this year and nothing else has changed.

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      #3
      Originally posted by B and B View Post
      I love my barn swallows! We had them for years, then lost them. But, this year we finally had a pair return and with a little carpentry help they successfully nested and fledged 3 babies. This fall I will add a few more ledges to the rafters, in hopes of getting a colony eventually. Amazing insect catchers and so fun to watch. I'll even put up with the fact that the preferred nesting spot was right over where I usually tie one horse to groom him. We moved for a few days during fledging, being dive bombed by a swallow is nerve wracking!
      I do think they have also helped with the fly population, haven't had any stable flies at all this year and nothing else has changed.
      I love our barn swallows too!

      They are excellent dive-bombers, but ours are great in that they don't actually try to peck you or touch you, they just swoop down close. The horses don't seem to mind them at all. We've got several nests with babies this year. Last week I was standing outside the barn, and they were all practicing their flying, swooping around and then landing on the overhead hydro wire.

      I also had a daredevil bird fly between my horse and I while I was leading him down the aisle. It was nearly skimming the ground, and came right between our legs then swooped up towards the rafters.
      I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

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        #4
        My swallow are out under the eaves. I don't mind sparrows in, but hate pigeons. Fortunately something is having a good time removing pigeons and sparrows. .
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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          #5
          I love barn swallows. We have may nests at the barn, one of them right above my locker, I spent whole minutes watching the parents feed their babies.
          And since they've arrived, I don't see as many starlings as before, which is very good!
          The other day, about 4 swallows were dive bombing a couple crows that were hanging outside the barn. They were so persistent, the crows finally left.
          Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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            #6
            After a very unpleasant experience with a bird mite infestation a couple weeks ago, I have no longer have any love for my huge population of barn swallows.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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              #7
              We have birds, bats and wasps. I love all of them. We have no flies. We do have poop. Poop on my new truck which was under a nest. I just moved the truck for a week or two. No problem. Even when we have the occasional baby bats falling from the ceiling.

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                #8
                We have swallows too! They are quite friendly and seem to love flying up and down the barn aisles. The horses are usually calm around them too; it’s nice for them to have some practice with scary birds, haha. Unfortunately, a few do happen to fall out of nests or get stepped on in the barn, which is the only downside to having them as barn guests.

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                  #9
                  We’ve had swallows for years and always enjoyed them until this summer. Mites! Had to knock down nests, pressure wash the inside of the barn and spray with a special insecticide for avian mites and lice. It took spraying 3 times and treating barn cats, dogs and chickens plus stripping and pressure washing the hen house to get the problem under control. We still have swallows in the barn and new nests but the mites seem to be gone for now.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by littlebaypony View Post
                    We’ve had swallows for years and always enjoyed them until this summer. Mites! Had to knock down nests, pressure wash the inside of the barn and spray with a special insecticide for avian mites and lice. It took spraying 3 times and treating barn cats, dogs and chickens plus stripping and pressure washing the hen house to get the problem under control. We still have swallows in the barn and new nests but the mites seem to be gone for now.
                    I can’t imagine how problematic it would be with chickens!

                    Covering every surface with diatomaceous earth seemed to help get mine under control. I plan on taking down all the nests once all the birds have fledged. I was getting covered in mites while working in the barn. It was like something out of a horror film!
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                      #11
                      Our cat goes to the loft and walks along the beams. She scoops the chicks out of the nest. We have no inside ones this year because they all gave up.
                      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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