Hard To Swallow?

While using some of the “extra” day this weekend to do a little sprucing up of The Aerie’s yard, The Beloved noticed that we have taken on some new houseguests this summer.


Most famously renowned in southern California for “returning to Capistrano”, it seems one family has made a home under the eave at the crest of our roof.

Swallows Nest

Now there’s a lot of homeowners around here that go bonkers when they see a swallow’s nest, citing that they bring fungi and other nasties too close to the home, but really all they do is make a big mess.  As soon as they see one, they turn on the hose-jet to eliminate the nest and “discourage” future nest builders.

The presence of the nest wasn’t nearly so alarming for us (in fact, it answered a question from the other day about ‘what all that bird racket was’).  We like birds – hummingbirds, orioles, and quail are frequent backyard visitors.  Besides, these birds have migrated all the way from Argentina – seems a little rough to give them the heave-ho.

And one nest can’t make that much of a mess, right?

Signs of the Times

Check back in later in the summer.


24 thoughts on “Hard To Swallow?

  1. I was told the nests eventually rot the eaves of the roof, especially if the swallows become annual visitors: but oh well, nothing built by human hands (or birdie beaks) was meant to last for eternity.

    • HG — I’ve heard that too, but I’ve never seen it, so I’m skeptical about the veracity of that rumor. We’ll wash the nest down when we know that they’ve left in the fall.

    • Janie — we do too, though we’ve had to curtail our seed-feeding because of unwanted “varmints” eating all the other plants — including my lime tree! It looks like that must take leaves, twigs (and maybe paper) to chew up a mud-bowl sort of nest.

    • The Beloved’s mom has a hate-hate relationship with the squirrels in her yard and so we torture her by giving her squirrel stuff all the time. Oddly enough, we don’t have squirrels here except for a few ground squirrels that nest in the cliffs near the ocean.

  2. Awwww. I can’t ever evict any critters around here that are nesting. However, when the possums and raccoons start stealing chicken eggs…they do get relocated!

    • We had to stop feeding bird-seed in our yard as it was attracting unwanted “varmints” that began eating The Beloved’s roses and kitchen garden. Bad bad bad….

  3. At work we have tons of these. TONS. And they make an awful mess. But they also eat a lot of insects, so I don’t mind them.

    Interesting to note that my boss ordered the eviction of the mud swallows a few years ago … and then found out they were protected under the migratory bird act. They’ve not been inconvenienced since, although someone is going to try putting up netting to discourage them from moving in next year. My prediction is that they’ll find a way to nest in the netting … after all, the sparrows found a way to nest on the ‘bird spikes.’

  4. Great photos! GOM is right, those neighbors had better be secretive. Blowing away a swallow nest is a felony. They have plenty of time in January to put up netting or any number of other preventive measures. I don’t think that the nests / birds cause harm to buildings. Many horse barns in our area allow them to come back year after year and no damage to speak of.

  5. Oh, and they consume thousands of insects a night. We had park visitors recently ask them the fastest way to get them to visit their neighborhood!

    • I never thought about the bug-improvement perspective! Not that we have a ton of bugs anyway, but that’s a good point. I can imagine I wouldn’t be too happy if I had a dozen of them over my patio, but I think we can share for a season… :)

  6. I hope you’ll be able to see the progress as you get new little swallows! I am astonished, at the mess though, i can see why certain business owners would be annoyed, but…
    it’s birds. I love the birds.

    • Miz — yeah, we like birds too. And one thing that makes it easier about the balcony is that we already have a hose line there for watering the Beloved’s planter boxes that are there, so cleaning up isn’t a HUGE issue.

    • We get a lot of hummers, which is great. It’s like a Star Wars dogfight to see who gets to “own” the never-ending flower that is our feeder… :)

  7. Pingback: Return to Capistrano | Stevil

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