Posts Tagged ‘barn swallows’

Barn-Swallow-nest-photo-by-Richard-Van-Vleck“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”~ Salvador Dali

Hang on, because this blog train is on a roll and its not going to stop today until I am finished with all that I have been holding back over the past few weeks. All the while giving you updates of other things and telling of new stories and adventures of life.

I recently wrote a post about the barn swallows that have taken residence near my apartment.

Since then, I’ve been getting a lot of grief about whether or not birds abandon their young after they’ve been handled by humans.

And you know what?? Right now, this debate does not matter. Because ever since the death of the young bird… all hell has broken loose as far as the surviving birds that are still here today and are growing up. Including the adult birds.

What I can tell you now is that ever since the death of the young bird, THEY ARE ALL PISSED OFF!!! The young have finally learned how to fly and so now they are in and out of the nest over and over and over again. They don’t seem to be flying very far from the nest but they come back immediately.

Meanwhile, the larger birds that make barn swallows their food, have been hanging around on the ground a lot more as of lately.

The entire family of barn swallows had for a time abandoned the nest for the option of perching on a grocery cart that has been sitting on my patio area. Adults included. I had to throw a glove last Thursday to get them to all fly away just long enough for me to pass by and get inside. But it was the first time that they would cross directly over head and even make contact with me. This family is really either gone insane or down in the dumps for the loss.

Usually the birds do not attack me. But they have been if they are awake and I am going outside or coming inside. Regular visitors are also having to change tactics and run in zig-zag patterns to get away from the birds that keep flying overhead.

It has turned into a nightmare. Four birds plus two adults and they go after anyone and everyone. Stray cats, people walking down the sidewalk, they have attacked them all. And I don’t know exactly why.

As the summer rolls on and it gets hotter, the birds will eventually leave and breeding season will be over. But for now, I will have to deal with them and they will have to deal with me.

So nice to meet you… I live with psycho birds. Thank you for stopping by. Your life may or may not be in danger here.

clouds“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”~ Russell Baker

Welcome to the beginning of July in the year 2014. For those of you who have been waiting for it, please be patient. The bitchy blog posts about heat, humidity, and unbearable air temperatures during summer are coming. Just not yet. Hang in there!

But in all seriousness- let’s have a chat. Just you and I.

For those of you that have been paying attention, you know that there’s a nest full of barn swallows and right now is the time that these birds are being born and eggs are hatching.

Round two is happening currently as we speak for this year/season. The birds have hatched and they are just about ready to learn how to fly. I don’t know for sure whether or not we’ll have a third round of eggs. It is rare but has happened before.

But as with every year, there’s bird drama. And it happened yesterday evening when I heard a bunch of voices of children hanging around my front door.

One of the baby birds had accidentally fallen out of the nest and was on the ground. Its neck seemingly broken as it was able to twist it in ways humans can’t even dream of. But I don’t know for sure whether or not barn swallows have that same neck structure as say, an owl does. Able to turn it directly behind itself and look.

Whatever it was, it had caused one of the “bird parents” to come down from there nest and perch upon a shopping cart that got left on my patio area… watching its young struggle to move about. It had not yet learned how to fly at this point, so it was really at a poor disadvantage.

However if we have learned anything by having these birds come and build their nests is that you do not mess with the young. You do not touch any of the birds. And you must certainly do not touch any of the baby birds that may have fallen out of the nest. Its just nature happening. As sad as it may be. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A few summers ago, our maintenance guy decided to mess with the nest by flashing an LED light inside while the birds were sleeping. Maintenance was attacked viciously to the point where he became paranoid about birds if he had to come over to my home.

A social services coordinator attempted to lift a baby bird back into the nest because it had fallen out. That bird (even though was returned from the nest) was forced out of the nest again and landed on the ground and soon after that perished.

The lessons came quick. DO NOT TOUCH THE BIRDS. DO NOT INTERVENE WITH THE BIRDS. DO NOT HANDLE THE BIRDS.

Once a human being does that, then the adult birds stop caring for it and force it away where it actually is left to die.

Granted, barn swallows are not very large birds in size. But birds are birds. And to this day I do not know why they trust me, but they do. Enough to build their nests and enough to NOT attack me when I come out of my front door to do whatever it is that I need to do that day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Usually the adult birds will just fly away, swoop around, and come back to the nest once I have cleared the area.

These children last night however, were hovering and circling around this one bird that unfortunately fell out of the nest. I warned the children not to touch the baby bird. I warned them to stay away from the baby bird because the adults would come after them.

I’ve seen it happen before. Birds will defend their own.

And instead of paying attention to me and listening, the oldest child of the group took off her jacket and wrapped the baby bird with the sleeve of the jacket and picked it up. The adult birds were flying back and forth in a super rage. It was horrible to watch. And it had to be terrifying for the birds to watch their young being picked up and carried away. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since someone touched the bird, the adults left it alone. The kids took off with it but then minutes later came back with it and put it back on the same spot on the ground as they picked it up. But it was too late. The adult birds already abandoned it.

So this morning, I find the adult birds still perched lower to the ground, but the baby bird was on the ground and had not survived.

And to think that this bird would have had a fighting chance as it struggled to move. Just a crash course in learning how to fly and it would have lived and been okay and probably in the future, been something that laid its own eggs.

Again human nature got in the way and spoiled everything for this winged baby. Sealing its doomed fate.

As difficult as it may be for some adults, we’ve got to learn to leave animals alone. Even while the animals are “in their hour of need.”

If the young of an animal will be abandoned if interfered with by humans, then yes – just leave them alone and hope and pray for the best.

Every late spring, I look up under the roof of my patio when I leave my home and began to grumble because I’ve noticed that the birds are starting to slowly build a nest. Usually, that meant by early summer I would be disturbed from sleep every day for weeks until the birds leave the nest in the middle of the summer.

Barn swallows are making their home under my roof of the patio. Without fail, every year they come and they build. Even if its been knocked down. There doesn’t seem to be anything that will prevent these birds from starting all over again and continuing the cycle of life.

But this season, it hasn’t been so much of a bother in the very early morning hours as I have had to move my sleeping quarters into another part of my home for other reasons.

As I understand, barn swallows build their nests up high so that they can stay away from predators. I also found out that they are good because they get rid of insects.

Anyways, yesterday around 9:00 AM, the birds were just making so much noise and usually by then the babies are sleeping and the mommy bird is long gone. But not then. I didn’t know what was going on.

When I opened the front door, there were probably about five of six birds flying all over the place. They were definitely upset. Across the yard I saw three cats.

On the property, we have at least a dozen stray cats that do not belong to anyone who lives here. All because of a certain few resident started to feed them from their patios. Now there are cats everywhere, and they shouldn’t be here. But I’ll digress from that gripe.

Anyways, it took only a few moments to realize that the birds were feeling threatened by the presence of these felines and they were in protective mode. From the front door I watched the scene of these birds going after the cats. It appeared that the cats were only trying to lounge in the shade because the weather is so freakin’ HOT now. Even at that hour of the morning.

Birds were flying in circles. Swooping up and down… literally attacking these cats until they had left the area away from the nest that I seem to be have hosting for years now.

It was so funny to watch! These tiny little birds were just totally destroying these cats. Coming from up high and swooping down on them from behind. I watched one bird literally went into a dive bomb on one cat that the absolute surprise made the cat flip from its tail over its head and land again but facing the totally opposite way.

Eventually the other cats would attempt to come to its aid. It watched from along side a tree as one bird continually kept on another cat. Eventually it decided to spring into action and pounce.

But the pouncing cat totally missed and ended up jumping high over the back of their poor counterpart. It looked like this cat that decided to leap could have jumped over seven cats stacked up tall. That’s how high it jumped!

EPIC JUMP.

I went on to my patio to get a better look. The birds that were swarming did not bother with me. They know that I am not going to hurt them. So they kept flying over my head and coming to the nest, feeding the baby birds, and then going back to join in the battle against those pesky cats.

Nature can be a lot of fun. It can provide tons of amusement sometimes. I don’t really know how long I was out there watching it all before all cats who were being attacked sprinted off and hid in a sewer opening. The birds then were wanting to come back to the nest but noticed that I was sitting there and just circled around and around until I had gone away.

My only regret is that I didn’t have a video camera. Oh well!!