Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Swallows Return

There's a famous town in Southern California called San Juan Capistrano. On March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) every year the Swallows return. They flock to the historic Spanish mission founded in 1775. They are Cliff Swallows and build mud nests.

Today, Hole in the Wall on Powell Lake started a new tradition. The first Violet-green Swallow returned. According to my bird watching log, last year the arrival date was also April 6. Do you think my cabin might become as famous as San Juan Capistrano? Maybe not, but I thought it was pretty amazing. What internal clocks these birds must have. The poor guy looked a bit bedraggled. Must have been a tough trip from Mexico or Central America.

Violet-green Swallows do not build mud nests like Cliff Swallows. They build their nests of grass tree holes or human constructed nest boxes. Several years ago we placed nest boxes around our cabin. We've enjoyed having at least one occupied each year. One of our older boxes needed replacing. Fortunately Wayne got it up over the weekend. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture, but they've already been checking it out. This new box has a hinged roof for easy cleaning at the end of the season. Oh, and there's even a rubber ducky for the kids to play with. Wayne thinks of everything! -- Margy


  1. i love the swallows and their voracious appetite for mosquitoes.
    Love their potential home!

  2. So fun to hear about the arrival of your swallow family. I need to get new boxes up here, too. With our new water feature, we should be able to attract a wider varietly of birds.

  3. I love the rubber ducky, such a fun idea.

  4. What a great idea...I love the rubber ducky! The Swallows haven't arrived here yet...but the Robin has returned. The Nuthatches and Mountain Chickadee stay for most of the year. I love birds and watching the flocks go through our property!