Wildlife Wednesday: Under Construction

Swallow's Nest, Saturday

There’s a new home under construction right outside my kitchen door…

We first noticed the muddy ring around the old hook on Friday afternoon, sort of a “Let’s see if it sticks” test. On Saturday, we watched through the window as a pair of barn swallows made trip after trip to the site, bringing beakfuls of mud and grass.

By yesterday evening (Tuesday), it looked like this:

Swallow's nest, Tuesday afternoon

That’s what I call progress!

We haven’t stopped using that door, since the nest is several feet away under the roof of the porch. It also gives this pair of birds a chance to see and become accustomed to us. If they were the skittish type, they’d have built elsewhere.

A Proud New Homeowner!

When their babies fledge, we’ll lose use of the door for a couple of days – even the calmest of birds isn’t good with people around while the little ones are learning to fly – but for now, we’re all just hanging out together on the back porch.

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29 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday: Under Construction

  1. It’s lovely that they’ve chosen to move in so close to you. And it will be great for the children to watch the whole process, from nest building to the young leaving it. You will keep us up to date with developments, won’t you?

  2. It seems the birds seek out these busy places! Our redstart female is sitting on the nest under our eaves, and as soon as the little ones hatch we will also have to use a different route to the balcony! Hope all goes well for your swallows.

  3. I love the barn swallows, But they do roost in the most unusual places and with their ability to stick their nests to the wall , they can nest where the cats can’t get to them, pretty clever really!

  4. I love that you pay attention to their growth and will stop using the door when it’s time. We’d assume they made their bed, they can lie in it! Callous city folk that we are. Of course we might stop using the door just because we don’t want to be bombed by a practicing, falling fledgling.

    • It’s not falling fledglings you have to watch out for – it’s an overprotective parent! Two summers ago, there was a pair near my back porch (other side of the house) who would sit on the roofline every morning and chatter with me (yes, I whistled back to them) while I had coffee. The morning their babies left the nest, I was suddenly deemed a threat, and nearly got a bird to the face. Two days later, the babies were flying well, and it all went back to normal!

    • There’s some poop under the nests, but most of the birds ‘clean’ the area, and take the poop out of the nest and drop it far away…must be local learned behavior.
      They DO eat bugs by the truckload, though! πŸ˜€

  5. Poop has a good side…. On the driveway or sidewalk if you see a lot of it, back up a bit and look up. That is how I used to find the doves in my pecan tree by the driveway!! I know… LOL. A friend and I went out to the refuge last week and these birds that have joined your growing family were building over the entrance to the visitor’s center. After several days of not feeling well, I know which tree limb the cardinals go to and that the wrens may be living in a pile of limbs and sticks on my patio. I should spend more days sitting in the door looking out!!

  6. I find this stuff fascinating, Marie. It’s not the nest but how and where it’s built — attached to a wall. I can’t get scotch tape to hold a Christmas package together and these birds are building their home attached to your house. Amazing!

  7. Pingback: A Flood of delightful back porch views! | thekitchensgarden

    • We think so…can’t wait for the next installment. They’re far enough along now that one of the pair has to be at the nest all the time, or risk losing it to squatters. There have been some LOUD arguments!

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