Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Swallows are Back!

male Violet-green Swallow

Yesterday when we returned home from volunteering with the Salem Audubon Society at the Salem Yard & Garden Show, we were just setting down to lunch on our patio,  when I noticed that there were a pair of Violet-green Swallows in our neighbors tree.  These are the first swallows of the year for our back yard.  A few minutes later there were more swallows and a great distubance centered around our swallow nesting box.  I then realized we also had Tree Swallows.  Typically the Tree Swallows arrive weeks before the Violet-green Swallows. But the real irony was that I had just purchased new nesting boxes at the Yard & Garden Show.  I had hoped to get the new nesting boxes up before the swallows arrived, but just missed. I'll get them up this morning and the swallows can sort out which uses what.  Last year the Tree Swallows took the box in the back yard and the Violet Green had to settle for the one in the front yard. The new nesting boxes are a special design to prevent House Sparrows from entering.  The nasty House Sparrows last year killed the baby birds or drove off the parents at all three of the nesting sites in our back and front yards. Hopefull the new slot design will work against the House Sparrows. We are delighted to have the swallows back from their wintering grounds, their graceful flight and friendly chatter bring such joy to our back yard. 

male Tree Swallow

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