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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Swallow Tale...

Sheer terror has hit my suburban driveway... in the form of swooping swallows! For the last couple of days, whenever I get out of the car or come out the front door, one or two birds - barn swallows, judging from the deeply forked tails - swoop down at me in full attack mode - aack!! Very aggressive and fast, coming VERY close, chirping and clicking loudly; then they circle high and come right back. So far there's been no actual contact, but certainly not from lack of trying, ha! Ducking and flailing of arms and running for cover ensues on my part... with a few loud, um, protests thrown in, I admit. Today I resorted to using an umbrella to get from the car to the house, sheesh!

Research online indicates that barn swallows are aerial insectivores; they catch insects in mid-air, and beat their wings about 15 times a second. And this: "Barn Swallows will swoop and attack intruders that venture too close their nest, often coming within inches of the threat." Seems that this behavior could last about two weeks, til the fledglings depart... I found this photo of a barn swallow's nest here, and have searched in vain to find something similar on or around my house. No signs of tell-tale mess on the ground, either. One suggestion is to hose down the nest... but I've gotta find it first, and that seems a little harsh. Maybe they're just feeding on bugs in the air?? And maybe I wouldn't mind so much, if I didn't keep seeing visions of Hitchcock's movie "The Birds"...

1 comment:

  1. oh no. Attack in the driveway!