The Swallows are Back

by Christine Sine

Swallows under eavesOne of the celebrations of spring for me each year is when the barn swallows that nest under our eaves return.  Yesterday I looked out our bathroom window and there they were.  Mum and Dad sitting on the rafters inspecting their nest from last year.  The challenge is that now there are a number of offspring who also want to nest around the house.  Last year they built a nest right above our front door and by the time we realized it (we don’t use the front door much) there were already babies in it.  Being splattered by bird droppings is not exactly a welcome that guests fuly appreciate.   This year we are hoping to move them to the back yard.

However there are many benefits to havingthese beautiful birds around.  Evidently a nesting swallow will eat up to 8,000 insects a day (yep thousands not hundreds) and that is definitely good for the garden and a wonderful way to cut down on the wasp and mosquito population over the summer.  Even if we can’t manage to encourage the birds to move from above the front door I think that the benefits far outway the problems.  Maybe we will just have to get umbrellas for our guests.

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