Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Swallows Return

Bert and His Lovely Lady on the clothes line.
I keep a logs of first arrivals from year to year. That way I know Barn Swallows are very punctual. Going back in my records to 2008, they've always arrived at our float cabin home during the first week of May. This year was no exception. On Sunday, May 3, a pair circled out front and landed on the clothes line on our side porch.

I'm quite sure it's the same pair from last year. It's an obscure spot, yet them homed right in on it.

Bert's Lovely Lady

Last year we tried to encourage them to nest away from our side porch, but this year we changed our minds. Once we saw they wanted the same spot again, we readied the facilities.

Plastic for protection under the nest site.
First, I put up plastic to control droppings and make cleanup easier.

Wayne made them a more secure nesting building spot than on top of the clothes line knot. Last year I worried every time the wind blew because the line would sway and rock the nest. In fact, during the winter it blew down.

Wayne put up a shelf in the nest site.
While the pair was away, we got an L-shaped bracket we'd saved and nailed it up next to the clothes line. This will give the new nest a better support structure. We through something different might scare the pair away, but no worries. As soon as they returned, Mrs. Barn Swallow (we call her Bert's Lovely Lady) sat on the ledge, and Mr. Barn Swallow (Bert of course) sat next to her on the clothes line.

There they stayed all night until early morning flying bugs lured them out for a hearty breakfast.

I look forward to watching the birds right from my living room sofa. And picture taking should be a breeze.

Do you have birds nesting near your home? What kind, and how is it going? -- Margy


  1. Sweet bird. Great post! I remember you posted about this last year.

  2. That is so nice of you to help them have a more secure nest! We had what I thought were barn swallows nesting on our upstairs porch fan but they did not come back this year. It was fun to look out the window and watch the little heads peep up above the nest.

  3. For us it is gold finches coming to our feeder. The pairs started arriving about two weeks ago. I make sure to have lots of thistle seed in my feed which seems to attract them. I am pretty sure these are the babies from past years pairs. No nests though, not sure where they are hiding those.

  4. What fun. Aren't they punctual.

  5. What fun to have the swallow nest nearby. They are so pretty..I can usually time the hummingbirds.. Great post. Thank you for linking up, have a happy new week!

  6. Love the idea of helping the birds out. We have a robin nesting in the little grove of trees to the side of our house - right behind the deck. We can hear the babies now - chirping for their food - and mama and papa running about bringing in delicious bugs and worms for dinner. They create quite a racket, so we always know when they are awake, and it is such fun to know that we have them right close to our house.

  7. Hi Margy, I like your comment about the Hummingbirds and your Christmas lights.
    We have several Barn swallow nests in the big barn---love that they are bug eaters and this year we have a nest of I think Robins in our old grill. Cute to see,
    good to hear from you.