We bought a house out in the country. We love it here and were delighted to see that a pair of birds had built a nest on our front porch. It is up on an eve and is made of mud. We have since been told that they are barn swallows.
Things progressed as is natures way and soon there were 5 little babies in that nest. They were “cuuuuooote” my wife described them (you know how they say it). I thought it OK and was kinda pleased that in my own way I am allowing them to sustain their species. Again the order of nature and all that. I even allowed them their own privacy and when we would leave the house we used the back door instead of the front to avoid disturbing them.
Yesterday morning I did the usual routine to get the mail. I was walking(from the back door ,around the house). Out to the mailbox near the street. Suddenly there was a “clicking, squeek, squeek” sound. A flutter of feathers and it felt as if someone had pulled a hair from my head. I looked up just in time to see one of the little birds on retreat.
I figured what the heck. It’s just tellng me to stay away from it’s nest and babies. I took note and gave it a larger berth today. I got about halfway out into the yard “click, squeek, squeek”. I looked up and smiled. “that’s OK little bird I mean no harm” I told it.
It didn’t listen. I looked up and it had called in re-inforcements. There were at least five of them in formation, diving at me from all directions. One would attack from behind, another from the front while I watched the last one. It was a full fledged pearl harbor type attack. Little birds “click, squeek,squeeking” all around me. Brought to mind a certain Alfred Hitchcock movie. It was kinda disconcerting for sure!
I know they mean no harm. I understand the motives. But now the wife is afraid to leave the house and I wear a hard hat to do lawn work. At least untill the little ones leave the nest.
Actually it is kinda neat to watch them chase the dog back into the house when we let him out. He pesters us too much to go outside anyway.
Take off and nuke the site from orbit.
It’s the only way to be sure.
We had a mockingbird that did that - she built a nest in a very small tree in our front yard. I could look right into the nest and see the babies without even standing on my toes. Mama bird haaaaated it when I took pictures of them. I got dive-bombed but good, which resulted in some rather blurry photos.
She’d even go after the cars when they came up and down the driveway.
Fortunately baby birds tend to grow pretty fast.
This too shall pass… this too shall pass… this too shall pass…
The birds will leave ina few weeks. Then knock that nest down and keep knocking it down every time a bird tries to rebuild it next year.
Sort of related: I saw “attract the predator away from the babies” behavior just the other day. I was driving along a gravel road (coming back from picking strawberries) and a bird ran across the road in front of me, then started strutting around, flashing its tail and wing feathers. Open, close, strut, open, strut, close, open, close, strut… I looked to the left and there were at least 3 minature copies of the larger bird, running along carefree, heedless of the predator waiting to pounce.
The predator (my Honda CRV) managed to not eat the babies OR the mother. The kids and I had a laugh and, once we were sure no birds were in the road, I drove on.
Erm…Those barn swallows are eating your barn flies.
Also your barn mosquitoes, barn wasps, barn grasshoppers, barn crickets, barn ants, etc. etc. When it’s raining so hard that all the flying insects are grounded, barn swallows will eat bugs off the ground. That’s as in, “Out in your garden”. Gotta feed those five little mouths, and if what it takes is hopping around on the ground pickin’ up ants, they’ll do it.
Read. (PDF file)
People pay good money to build specially-designed nests precisely to attract barn swallows to their property in order that they may eat their barn flies, barn wasps, etc. etc.
So, don’t nuke them. Don’t knock the nest down. Wear your pith helmet and be humbly thankful that the small gods have seen fit to reward you for your good karma by sending you barn swallows.
Wait until you see how much they ruined the area around the nest. Barn swallows are shit machines.
Yabbut… to be perfectly fair, all birds are shit machines. I had a pair of house finches build a nest up under my porch eaves a few years back. Pretty little purple birds, “aww, how cute”.
The poo stains are still there.
But at least the barn swallows are definitely eating lots and lots of bugs, which isn’t something you can say about sparrows.
Two words: Tennis racket.
No, no: Badminton racket.