Well sometimes with all the bad things the hand of man does every now and then something good comes along....of course its usually totally by accident!-LoL but here it is!
This Map shows the range(in grey) of the cliff swallow through 2003. Note that my state SC is almost completely white--I live in the central part of the state and look what I found last last week!
YES these are Cliff Swallow nests from last year! SO that means they were nesting here last year and will probably return...they have successfully pushed their range Eastward using the thousands of concrete overpasses as colony nest sights and that's good news for us as they keep the mosquito populations down!..SO come late March I want to visit this bridge over the Wateree River again! The Swallows return to Capistrano (San Juan Capistrano, California) March 19th and leave in Oct...but some literature says they begin to leave in late August...You can see some of the nests have fallen, probably due to vibration of the heavy traffic over this bridge--I'M so psyched about this!! There is a boat launch ramp right beside this bridge and parking is under the bridge... I hope none of the fishermen will even notice the swallows. The birds and their nests (while in use) are protected by law--!
|the gourd shaped mud nest of the cliff swallow is made up of about 1,000 dabs of mud, then lined with soft down and grasses.|
Here you can see the mud nests and an adult at the entrance they were feeding young, but the young are so smart and with all the warnings of the parents that Danger was about (that danger being me and my camera) they kept way to the back of the entrance--I did see a few heads pop out but not when I had the camera up and ready!
|adult Cliff Swallow- it takes 44-50 days from nest building to fledging the young-|
|barn swallow nest|
So now we have all these man-made "cliffs" and the swallows are following them eastward! I think that's pretty cool!