Barn Swallows 1, Us 0

If eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, we've just been enslaved due to inattention.

I stepped onto the front porch this morning, just before daybreak, and this caught my eye:

Photo - Barn Swallow Nest

I swear, that nest was not there yesterday at noon, when Debbie and I did our usual lunch hour tour of the front yard (yes, our lives are filled with excitement and danger!). But it does explain why barn swallows were so seemingly perturbed as we sat on the front porch last night, eating ice cream and reading, until sunset. We thought they just wanted to go to bed, since they frequently perch overnight on the small ledge provided by the ceiling trim.

I had planned to check the nest this morning and if there were no eggs in it, to knock it down. But I did a quick check of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and found that I'm too late. Once the nest is built, it's illegal to destroy it, whether or not it has eggs or babies. We'll have to wait until the birds migrate away next fall.

The good news is that the nest is not over our front door, and is situated so that the inevitable mess will be manageable. I'd rather it not be there at all, and I take it somewhat personally that the birds won this battle, but the war is a long one and I'll bandage my wounds and plot my counterstrike. The immediate price the birds will pay will be my camera invading their space on a frequent basis.

Photo - Barn Swallow Flying in Front of Nest

4 Comments

We have the pleasure of having a nest too. 4 eggs. Over the door. Did the baby bird hatch yet?

For the third year in a row, we have swallows nesting above our porch light. Yes, they're a mess, but they are delightful to watch. I love it when the eggs hatch and these ugly/cute chicks pop their heads over the edge of the mud-daub nest. And to watch them grow is just a marvel! I'm upset with a neighbor, however -- she destroyed a swallow nest over her door, even though the birds were in and out all the time, either preparing to lay eggs or incubating them! Do I report her?

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on May 19, 2011 8:15 AM.

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