We've got quite a flock of barn swallows right now. We've grown to really
love them. They work tirelessly to rid the place of nasty bugs. And its always
fun to see them raise several batches of babies. This is a new nest that
is easily photographed.. with 5 babies about ready to launch!
Don't you just love the barn swallows?
I am always amazed at the wildlife that goes along with a farm. We have several broods of barn swallows here.
We try to keep a little mud puddle in the driveway. They are always in it.
They are a little messy though, when the youngsters are almost ready to leave the nest.
Yes! Barn swallows are neat. I had not mowed hay for several years....until this summer. As soon as I start laying down the hay or raking it.....here come the barn swallows, as if on cue. Sometimes we would have 10 or 12 diving and darting between the tractors and equipment, catchings bugs I guess. This brought back memories of helping in my grandad's hayfields some 40 years ago. Its good to see some things never change.
Tammy, please tell me that the power is off to the light circuit that powers the bulb the birds have built a nest on. Those type bulbs get really hot and could start a fire....or at a minimum....cook the birds.
We have 16 nests under construction in our hay barn, and a dozen more under the carport roof. Hubby said today he will park the car elseware, it was getting too many decorations. They really do a number on the bugs and cuss at us when we come into "their space". We also have several families of house swallows in bird houses around the place with little ones sticking their heads out of the entry holes. I love the swallows and am always excited to see them arrive from wherever they spend the winter.
There have been several projects that have been put off around here because of families of barn swallows in progress.
I also love the way they line their babies up on telephone wires..
Our single barn swallow nest fell when we put up the siding on the hayloft :( Luckily the wren's who'd borrowed it had just weaned the babies. I have no idea where the swallows went! Probably my back neighbor's extremely large but less active barn.......At the DOA barn there must be close to a hundred nests. They swoop all through the barn regardless of how many people are there or the amount of activity. There are poop piles under each nest....What is the benefit of them? Does anyone know? Do they eat flies or bugs or skeeters?
Bugs! Great mosquito control, and more than likely any other bug that fits inside their beeks. We don't ever have many mosquitos, can sit outside without getting bit, but the swallows are swooping in large arcs through the air until dusk catching whatever is flying around. Then the bats take over. I've wondered how many bugs it takes to raise a baby swallow.
Keith - we don't use that light, except ocassionally in the winter. So don't worry - we
will not be cooking those cuties!
We've got more swallows this year than ever before! Is it just us or is this a big year
for them all around?
We have more too. It might have something to do with weather and/or available feed. Or....... maybe something like this:
About 10 years ago we built a hay barn, really a 3 sided building with an open end, and they loved it the first time they saw it. Then after a few years my husband built an owl nesting box hoping to attract barn owls and hung it near the rear of the barn, but noowls ever came to use it. What did come was wasps, lots of wasps building their nests and laying their eggs all over the rafters and in corners. The swallows quit nesting in the barn because of the owl box, but the starlings took over the owl box and the swallows were replaced by two things we did not want. So this spring we took down the owl box and now the swallows are back and I don't see hardly any wasp nests.
I think they are so beautiful and very helpful in barns----mother nature is wonderful!!!!!!!!
I love them too! I remember my parents having a business in ARkansas & they had nests lined up on the upper side of the porch's roof. The messes they made with their poop running down the outside wall wasn't pleasant but they sure did take care of a lot of mosquitoes! I loved hearing them & watching them.
We have one nest-finally! Jack saw them the other day and told me about them. They are on the flue pipe of the wall furnace outside the dining room. We no longer have a barn and the one shed we do have doesn't seem to attract them to itself. I love them. I love to watch them. They are such aerial acrobats.
Starlings, while they can indeed be pests, eat slugs, grubs, etc. by the thousands. Yes, they also eat grain and make messes in the barns. But they do serve a purpose in the environment. They just multiply so rapidly and are so aggressive at the feeding places. I have attempted to make pets of a couple of them. It was an unsuccessful effort tho they did seem to appreciate and accept my help when they needed it which is more than most adult wild animals/birds will do.
Never tried to make pets of any wild birds myself!
we've got lots of barn swallows this year & just love it! Nary a mosquito
in site. And very few japonese beetles - maybe related or maybe not but
that's terrific after the invasion last year!
Barn Swallows and Purple Martins are the same thing? Can anyone confirm that for me? LOL My mother and I got into an arguement about what these were as they were flying around her house (outside) and my dad said "they're the same thing!" LOL
Purple Martins are much larger, probably half again as big. They will not make the mud nests that Barn Swallows do.
In the wild they would nest in hollow trees & such, but most have become "tame" & use only bird houses made for them.
This message was edited Jul 21, 2006 10:06 AM
These had a white underside, so they were not martins then! Thanks Bernie, I should've looked them up myself. Maybe he meant both swallows.....So martins are bigger-and in the pics I see don't have the light undersides? This was on the intercoastal waterway in Ft. Walton.
We had a funny thing happen this summer. A nestfull on the side porch flew, and mom evidently laid new eggs. Suddenly a nest on the front porch was overly full of baby birds. They were stacked, and the fliers were reaching out and taking food intended for the younger birds. I shooed them a few times, but at night there was a deep pile of little birds for a week or so.
those are terrific photo's! And I'm glad it worked out as well as it did for those double decker
babies! We sure have had a good year for the barn swallow babies earlier this season but no
eggs now for over a month. Some / most years we get several broods per nest.