[Tweeters] Frustrated House-Hunting V-g Swallows

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Sat May 11 11:10:44 PDT 2013

Hi All,
Barn Swallows arrived on Beacon Hill today, and Delia just watered our mud-bath in hopes of helping them utilize any home-site they might find acceptable.
But it was a familiar Violet-green Swallow frustration that's got  me writing:
A pair of Violet-green Swallows searching in vain for a nest-site on a newly-constructed large house.  It had what they wanted in terms of hieght, scarp and location, but it was all very spiffy and completely Swallow-proof.
Does the increasing trend in home-values and the "improved" condition of the housing stock explain the decrease in Violet-green Swallows in Seattle? 
When there are perfectly good, tradional sites going begging, as there apparently are in Seattle, this would argue that lack-of-sites is not the underlying problem.  And I know of an excellently-situated box in a neighborhood near here that is getting no attention from home-seeking Swallows.  But I also see what could be descendants of birds raised in our own boxes trying to make a go of it in our 4 block-radius, year-after-year, and seemingly never being able to find a site that allows them to succeed and regenerate the population further.  Thus there could be a combination of factors facing our urban Violet-green Swallows, some relating to intransigent global issues that create mortality for adults on their sojourn South in the winter but others blocking the birds who do survive from maximal reproductive success that could replace the lost individuals.
So if anyone has Violet-greens fluttering around their house and a willingness to go up on a ladder today (Please be safe) , I would urge them to get a box from Seattle Audubon, Wild Birds Unlimited, or write me personally (if there's a good site the box is free on a will-call basis.)  (Countryside Culture of Oregon makes the boxes and they seem to be House Sparrow-proof).
Ed Newbold
ednewbold1 at yahoo.com  Beacon Hill between Cleveland and MacPherson's Fruit Stand

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