My Barn Swallows are back!! Yeah!!

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Guest

I was inside but had the Martin house webcam on (which has good audio), and all of a sudden I heard the SWEETEST singing right outside at my patio! Then I saw them flying in to one of the nesting platforms, then flying back out, and repeating that for some time. Boy, they were just singing up a storm! They sounded SO happy to be back "home" again!

I don't have any Martins yet, but this more than makes up for that. I know how you people feel who have had "your" Martins return this spring. It's a feeling that is impossible to describe. To think that these small birds flew ALL the way from Central or South America, all the way up here to north Texas, found my house among the thousands of houses that look similar and zipped directly into last years nest platform! It defies explanation and boggles my mind!

They have been circling my house most of the afternoon, quite high in the sky. This evening I happened to see one of them come in for the night - boy just as swift as a jet, but totally silent!

They let me take some pictures right after they arrived (about noon) so here's a couple of pictures. The first pic is the male and the second pic is the female (I think).

Image

Image

This will be their FOURTH year to come here and nest. Each year I put up a new platform for them - they like to build a new nest each year. So last fall, after they left, I took all the nests down and cleaned up the platforms. So now they have 4 platforms to choose from. As soon as I get a feel for which platform they will use I'll set my webcam back up so we can watch them throughout the season.

I'm just SO happy to have them back!

Gus
Dawn~KS
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

Excellent photos.................thanks for posting them!! I absolutely love the Barnies and I can't wait to see some return!! They keep me company when I go fishing.................... :grin: :grin: :grin:

Dawn
CMF
Posts: 335
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:18 am
Location: Georgetown, DE

Another great picture Gus! I have a swallow nest over my high intensity driveway flood lamp and i just built a nest box for above it. I was afraid to turn the light on for fear of cooking the little ones. I love the multi-colors and their melodious singing. They are really fearless of people and my dogs.
Al Denton
Posts: 1465
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:31 pm
Location: Carolina Shores NC
Martin Colony History: New site and housing for 2018...Trendsetter 12. 1 pair of subs. Fledged 5...2019...11 pairs

I got a real treat last year when a group of barn swallows came over and were feeding at the ground under my martin setups. I just made two nesting cups from a wooden bowl I cut in half. I hope they'll check one out. Hopefully a 4' overhang will be enough on my house.
2018-new site...1 pair
2019-11 pairs
Glen Webb Jr
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:03 pm
Location: Illinois/Stewardson

I love having barn swallows around. They make the backyard so enjoyable. At my colony, there are four species of swallows all nesting nearby. Martins of course and the tree swallows. My dad finally had some barn swallows show up two years ago and somewhere nearby is at least one pair of rough-winged swallows. It is especially nice to see the martins loafing around in the morning hours and having the other swallows in abundance flying all over the place having a good time.

Those images are amazing. So up close and personal!
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Gus,
I'm sure it must be exciting to have your Barnies back. I am still waiting on mine to return. I have their artificial nestcups ready and waiting. I even put up a couple more this year, hoping to attract more than the one pair that I had last year.

I love the way they chirp and fuss as they come flying into their nest on my front porch. They are so entertaining since they do a lot of hunting low to the ground right out my front door. My doggie door is on the porch and with five dogs running in and out barking, the Barnies just ignore them. I sit on the porch in the evenings to watch my PMs come in and the Barnies fly right over my head. I'm hoping and praying my pair has survived their migration and will return to me soon.
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Carlton
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

Do you find that the wooden nesting cups are more effective in attracting the barn swallows to nest than the traditional flat floored open shelf type house?

I put out a wooden nesting cup but the past three years it has been used by house finches. I love them too though. Cheerful, friendly and colorful.

Carl
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Gus,
Thank you for the terrific photos! I love the Barnies too and can't wait for ours to return. They are the sweetest little birds. I will never forget the first time I saw a nest of baby barnies under the eve of a store in Salado, TX. I had never seen them before and thought they had to be the cutest little baby birds ever. For the past four years we have been blessed to have them as well. I couldn't ask for more. Between the other songbirds, hummingbirds, barn swallows and martins my daytime viewing of God's beautiful creation is at its best. I'm also waiting for the hummers to return - should be any day now!
Sharon
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Carl,

I offered the flat floored nest first and the Barnies started building on it. Then a few days later I received my new artificial wooden cup nest and put it up within a few feet of where they were building and within an hour they abandoned their old nest for the artificial one. So, YES, I think they prefer it. At least, mine did.

If you want to know more about Barnswallows, this web site has loads of info.
http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/per/b4.htm
Jeanne
Attachments
Barnies
Barnies
100_0293.JPG (44.82 KiB) Viewed 2842 times
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Guest

Whoa, Jeanne, that IS way up high! Can you get up there and clean it out each fall?

Where was your flat platform located? I've noticed that my Barn Swallows really like to be 1) very close to the ceiling, 2) in a corner. So they have walls on two sides and a ceiling right above them and then they only have to look out in one direction for predators and such. I think that arrangement makes them feel safe.

I have not tried the pre-made bowls so can't say anything about them. But my Barn Swallows seem to really like the flat platforms I put up in the corners of my patio ceiling.

Gus
Al Denton
Posts: 1465
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:31 pm
Location: Carolina Shores NC
Martin Colony History: New site and housing for 2018...Trendsetter 12. 1 pair of subs. Fledged 5...2019...11 pairs

Carlton wrote:
I put out a wooden nesting cup but the past three years it has been used by house finches. I love them too though. Cheerful, friendly and colorful.

Carl
I put a cup under the front porch this morning, and within an hour my house finces were nestbuiding their little heineys off :lol:
2018-new site...1 pair
2019-11 pairs
Carlton
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

he he he

Luv it Al!
Al Denton
Posts: 1465
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:31 pm
Location: Carolina Shores NC
Martin Colony History: New site and housing for 2018...Trendsetter 12. 1 pair of subs. Fledged 5...2019...11 pairs

This was a great solution for the finches nesting in the Coates this year.
2018-new site...1 pair
2019-11 pairs
lockharttaylor
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: texas/lockhart

we had a pair of barn swallows return late this evening, let me know that they were here. we also have 25 or martins staying around our houses.

susan taylor
8 pairs 2005, 33 pairs 2006, 55 pairs 2007, 65 pairs 227 fledged 2008, 68 pairs 244 fledged 2009, 63 pairs 291 fledged 2010 make 296 2011 73 pairs 2013 59 Pairs 190 Fledged,2014 62 Pairs 2 babies 230 Fledged 2015? 72 pairs 4 babies 273 fledged 2018 75 pairs 267 fledged 2020,
Fred Kaluza~MI
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:40 pm
Location: Warren, Michigan
Martin Colony History: Tried and tried and had some visitors but...not enough good insects around here to keep them interested.

Gus, be sure to let us know when the cam is back on line. It was really neat last year to watch your little critters grow up!
To view my Cams... use "martin" for the login and password then use the Java viewer. Get full screen and sound by loading an app.

Click here for the "Wannabe Webcam 1"
Click here for the "Wannabe Webcam 2"
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Gus,

According to the people on the Barnswallow website they like to be about 3 inches from the ceiling. I get up on a ladder and change out the nest after the first brood because of the mites and again at the end of the season. The Barnies started making the new nest right after I cleaned it out and the first brood fledglings came around each day to check it out too.
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Guest

Fred Kaluza~MI wrote:Gus, be sure to let us know when the cam is back on line. It was really neat last year to watch your little critters grow up!
Fred, yes, I will announe it when I get a SwallowCam up and running.

BTW, I can't get either of your wannabe cameras to come up. I get the blue screen with the choices, but when I pick view on PC I get a popup asking if I want to search for the file extension. Then it bombs out.

Could you step me through the process so I can see your cams?

Gus
Carlton
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

My barn swallows in DE never nested more than once a season. They always had successful broods though. VERY defensive of their space towards humans and pets. Much more so than martins.
Guest

When you say platform, did you put up a 2x4 or ? I was thinking about buying a couple nest cups I saw at the bird store. Neighbor 2 houses down has a pair for 3 years, doesn't care for them. Last year they started building about our front door, but stopped.
Maybe this year!
Chuck

BTW, you should have some PMs blown into your area in the next day or so!
Carlton
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

I would order one of those wooden nest cups Chuck. I really forget how large the platform was but the dimensions would be easy to find online. It should be open on at least two sides though and preferably three. It should be mounted HIGH up under an open porch or such about three or four inches from the "ceiling". Remember, they are messy at times so I would not put it over my car or a place where people walked all the time. I have mine where the dropping fall into a planter bed even though the nest is still under the wide eave of my front porch. It is a good idea to put some cardboard on the pavement under the nest when the babies are getting quite large. A lot easier than cleaning the concrete later on.

Carl
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