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Lebowski

Bird's nest in an old oil can....

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I saw a small bird fly into my garage this morning and land on the edge of this old oil can. After looking around it disappeared inside. After it left I took a look inside and there was a nest with 4 baby birds in it which I thought was pretty cool. A couple of years ago there was another bird that came into the garage and made a nest inside my Indianapolis Colts cap which was upside down. When football season rolled around the birds were gone so I cleaned it out and cheered the Colts onto another unspectacular 6-10 season. Has anyone else found a nest in an unusual location?

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For the past five or six years I have had barn swallows make a nest three feet from my front door on a porch.  The are a lot of fun to watch them grow and then fly away.  Then I have to clean the porch.  I suspect that I have had a couple of generations use the spot.

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I'll tell you where they don't get birds nesting any more; the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano, where the swallows came for centuries. It's what the mission is famous for. The Ink Spots had a top 10 hit with "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" in 1940. A nice tune. My wife and I visit the Old Mission regularly.

So what happened?

It turns out, a few years ago the mission was in need of some repairs, as it is every decade or so, and while doing these repairs somebody got the bright idea to remove all the mud nests (thousands of them) so they could clean better. Everyone involved agreed, nobody saw the possible repercussions.

And the swallows never came back to Capistrano. The link was broken. 

This seems like an unbelievable thing to happen, especially when you consider the magnitude of conservationists,

 militant nature buffs, avian experts, etc. living and working in California. None of them could see this coming?

Now the city is embarrassed by this history changing blunder so they just don't say anything about it. But the tourists keep asking where all the swallows are. They've tried everything to get them back from playing endless recordings of the swallows songs to placing artificial nests back in place all to no avail. The birds have moved to a forested area several miles away, made new nests and will never return.

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Zealots, in this case "nature experts", are unable to think beyond their initial focus.  This usually results in classic "unintended consequences" which often involves the opposite outcome from their initial intent.   Zealots are often useful in alerting the rest of us to the existence of a particular problem; however, they rarely have a rational remedy.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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I did not know that the swallows had disappeared. Guess that's why there are no more news stories about it......

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We used to have this old barn in the background shown here. The barn swallows would fly out as soon as you walked in the doorway and as a habit we would just naturally duck down.

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