Now every tree can be a birdfeeder. No other food attracts more birds than
Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter.
Swallows are insect eating birds. They will sometimes eat berries when insects are unavailable.
Tree Swallows will use manmade boxes. Many natural sites are depleted due to cutting of dead trees in their natural habitats, and placing boxes can help boost their populations. Swallows will defend their nest sites from other swallows. They prefer open areas in the sun, pastures, fields and golf courses. Boxes should be placed away from tree lines and shrubs to help guard against predators. Raccoon baffles can be added to posts to deter raccoons from reaching the nests. Swallows make their nests from grass and weed stems and line them with feathers. They usually have 3-7 eggs. Their eggs are white and unmarked. Young usually fledge in 16 to 24 days. Young from the previous brood can be seen trying to steal food from the new brood. They can often be seen perching in long rows on wires.
Some interesting facts about Cliff Swallow nests:
• Before building begins, swallows choose a site with a protective overhang and a nearby mud source. Each mud nest is made up of about one thousand small, mud pellets. Each mating pair in the colony shapes its home piece by piece into a bottle-necked nest which they then line it with grasses and feathers. The females usually lay 4 to 5 eggs. Occasionally, a female will lay an egg in her neighbor's nest. About a forth of nests in a large colony contain another swallows chick Parents can identify their chicks by their voices not by their appearance.
• In a single day, swallows fly to and from their nests thousands of times Cliff Swallows use a technique called aerial foraging to get food. As they fly through the air, they capture flying insects in their beaks.
Q: What are those strange mud nests being built underneath the eaves of my house?
It may be that a Cliff Swallow has built a nest on your house. Although not always an invited addition to the house, swallow nests can provide an infinite amount of enjoyment and learning opportunities. During the spring and summer, you can see hundreds of swallows darting about as they build nests and collect food. There are many things you can discover about the Cliff Swallow, if you take the time to observe.
Before artificial structures became a common feature in the United States, Cliff Swallows used naturally overhanging cliffs as nest sites. As buildings became more abundant, swallows took advantage of their sheltering eaves.