Barn swallows return to grouse mountain after long migration
Posted by Devin Manky
April 30, 2018
Last week we noticed our first Barn Swallows of 2018 flying around the Peak offices of Grouse Mt. It was a welcome sight that, to us, means Spring is officially here. The swallows are here from the Spring until about September when they begin their long migration back south.
The birds will begin nesting soon - this begins with building new nests, or simply renovating old ones, using a mixture of mud and saliva to build and cement the nests together.
Barn Swallows have an extremely long migratory route. Their range extends across most of both North and South America. In the late winter months the birds will leave their winter grounds in South America and fly North, generally returning to the area where they were born.
After nesting and raising their young, the birds will gather in large migratory groups in the late summer and early fall. They will then migrate in large flocks for safety and return to the south before the first snowfall.
Did you know?
Barn Swallows love to nest on man-made structures that provide a flat surface to attach their nest to. Before humans, they would often use cliff faces or other rock features, but now that is rare as there is a plethora of man-made items available. The females do most of the work gathering mud, sticks, twigs and other materials to build up a tidy cone-shaped structure that is strongly adhered to a firm backer.
How you can help
You can provide assistance to your local Barn Swallows by constructing Barn Swallow nesting platforms . By helping make nesting and breeding an easy activity you will encourage Barn Swallows to lay two clutches (two rounds) of eggs and help boost population numbers.
Grouse Mountain is introducing a new seasonal closure November 1 – 12 that will take place annually as the Mountain transitions between its Summer and Winter operations. Please visit our News post for more information.