Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Swallow Controversy

Our community has four lakes. We can fish, canoe, kayak or swim in any of them. Motors are limited to small electric trolling motors for fishing boats. No water skis or jet skis. The largest lake, Lake Atagahi has an area designed for young children to swim/play safely. A walkway with cabana surrounds the shallow swimming area.

The cabana is perfect for Barn Swallows. The eaves and rafters are great for nest-building. Flying insects are abundant and the swallows can skim over the lake for insects that float on the water. In fact, the cabana is so perfect that the numbers of Barn Swallows using it increased every year. The mud bowls grew more and more numerous.

Some concerned moms and grandmothers decided that the swallows posed a health risk to the children playing in the water and on the beach. They demanded that the community board do something to keep the swallows from coming back to the cabana.

The board decided to cover the rafters with screens to deny access to the rafters. Recently I took a walk to see what was going on. I was delighted to see swallows. One was sitting on a metal prominence.

A perfect swallow’s nest was attached outside the eaves. Built right on the very screen put in place to prevent it. I find the nests absolutely fascinating. How many trips does such a small bird have to make in order to bring in that much mud?

Inside was another nest.
I’m glad the swallows are here. And I hope we can all peacefully coexist.


Ruth said...

I hope the birds get to stay. People should be happy that they eat mosquitoes. I didn't know that Barn Swallows have mud nests too.

KGMom said...

Oh, I hope the "powers that be" don't disturb these birds. You will have to lead a campaign to save the swallows.

Unknown said...

People keep destroying habitat and wonder why the birds build nests where they can. Hope your community doesn't take more drastic measures. the barn swallow babies are so cute.

Jayne said...

Smart, smart birds! :c) Indeed, I'm with Ruth in that they should welcome these insect eaters.

NCmountainwoman said...

I will do everything I can to prevent further action against these marvelous little birds. I wish folks knew that the lake water is likely a greater concern than the swallows.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, for the love of Pete!
Let's just ban ALL BIRDS because they might poop or something!
Sometimes I hate people.

: )

Mary said...

This post touches my heart. I have a history with Barn Swallows. You might enjoy the story here:

Anonymous said...

My blood pressure goes up with such absurd and senseless notions as getting rid of the swallow nesting sites. I would be upset and very sad if they were successful. I hope they will not be forced out. Hats off to you for your attempts to help the swallows!