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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cliff Swallows are making homes here

Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallow

These are the swallows that allegedly return to Capistrano Mission each spring (which hasn’t happened in several years since the area became “urbanized”). Cliff Swallows are highly social birds, building conical mud nests and living in large colonies of 1000 or more, often sharing parenting duties.

Cliff Swallows are found abundantly in north Texas. The mud for their nests comes from stream banks, private lakes, swamps, broken water pipes – any place that dependably creates mud. It doesn’t have to be in your yard. It could be up to half a mile away.

Their flying abilities are amazing!  They “hawk” insects in mid-air, flying at great speed, turning quickly and smoothly, all the while filling the evening sky with their pleasant chirps.
If you live in a semi-rural or rural part of north Texas, with a source of mud somewhere in the vicinity, you could probably attract a colony – if they’re not there already.


OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.


Cliff Swallow

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