Springtime in Texas: The Swallows are Back

Here’s another reason I’m glad we didn’t move to Seattle lo, those many years ago when Microsoft was trying to recruit us:

It’s 39 degrees up there today! Here, we’re enjoying spring. There’s a nice breeze blowing across the lake and all weekend, we had birds of all kinds to entertain us. Yesterday there were several ducks, two gulls and a heron sitting on the dock all afternoon.

Of course, our favorites – as always – are the swallows. I wish there was a way to know whether the pair that have taken up residence are the same mom and dad bird who raised two broods here last summer, or maybe one of those babies has found a mate and found its way back home.

Usually we will see many swallows flying around for a couple of weeks before we get “settlers” here. But this pair came in and immediately made themselves at home on our upstairs balcony and have started “remodeling” last year’s nest. Generally each year, they build a new nest – only once before have we seen them reuse an old one. We’re guessing that might mean that it’s the same pair.

It’s so amazing to think that they fly literally thousands of miles to South America for the winter and then make it back here in the spring.

We had our first “bird crisis” of the year (based on experience, the first of many throughout the brooding cycle) today. Discovered that a couple of red wasps had started building a nest maybe 8 inches from the swallows’ nest. It was almost directly in the flight path, where the birds circle in when they feed the babies.

That just wasn’t going to work, so I went out and knocked down the wasp’s nest while the birds were away, feeding. I’m sure birds nests and wasps’ nests coexist in the wild, but I’m not comfortable with them being that close. And if I have to get out there and pick up fallen babies and put them back in the nest as I did last year, I don’t want to have to get that close to the wasps.

Usually they lay their eggs in early April, so it shouldn’t be long. Stay tuned for more adventures with this year’s swallows. I’ll get photos soon.


deb@shinder.net    www.debshinder.com

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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