Welcoming Back the Barn Swallows
Barn Swallows are back! Did you know that they fly up to 600 miles per day? Unbelievable. It’s well known that these metallic-backed birds assist farmers with controlling troublesome insects while taking refuge in the eves of buildings, but the story of their tail shape is lesser known. As legend has it, a Barn Swallow stole fire from the gods to bring it to the Earth people. As a result, one particularly angry god threw fire arrows at the swallow as it fled, singeing the middle of its tail. This explains the Barn Swallow’s distinctive fork-tailed profile.
Both in legend and in reality, Barn Swallows face danger at every turn. When they are not dodging flaming arrows thrown by gods, they are battling wasps for suitable eves to make their nests. Turns out, humans are not the only ones faced with a housing crisis in Jefferson County. Although still abundant and widespread, Barn Swallow populations in the United States and Canada have shown a cumulative decline of 38% since 1970. As a human, there are a couple ways to help end this bird/insect housing crisis without using harmful poisons. One option is to wake up super early, when it is too cold for wasps to fly, and knock their nests into a bucket of water, thus killing the pest’s future generations and opening up housing for the swallows. The other option is to stop developing in areas where animals live.
Thank you, Barn Swallows, for all that you have done and all of the entertainment you provide during your display of aerial antics.