Thursday, 8 July 2010

Swallows nesting at the Park

Barn Swallows normally use man-made structures (the eaves of barns, sheds and houses) to breed. They build a cup-shaped nest from mud pellets and feed on insects caught in flight. This species lives in close association with humans, and their insect-eating habits mean that they are tolerated by people.

Many modern house designs no longer have 'eaves' - so the preferred nesting habitat of swallows is unfortunately being compromised - there are fewer and fewer places for these beautiful, shy birds to build their nests. Next time you're planning a new shed or outbuilding (or know anyone who is) spare a thought in the design to consider potential nesting sites for swallows - or perhaps consider offering a man-made nest option - available through certain retail outlets and through specialist suppliers on the internet.

Here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter we purposefully encourage Swallows each year by allowing them access to some of our workshops and outbuildings on the property. We have Swallows returning from their over-wintering in Southern Africa to the same nesting sites each Spring - where they build their mud nests and hatch their young on ledges and wooden eaves inside our outbuildings year after year.

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