Barn Swallow Update
I know that we have a few birders on this site. This will not be interesting to those who are thinking of fried barn swallow.
For the second year in a row, I note fewer returning barn swallows to our farm in Millbury, Massachusetts. They must have had a bad winter (or endless summer) where ever they went, or a tough return flight.
Once they are here, they lead a good life. I provide safe little nesting ledges high up in the rafters of the barn, and the livestock attract a good supply of flying bugs. They always raise a good brood, (sometimes two) and the population recovers quickly. I am told that a lot of the returning birds were born on my farm, and that they show the way here to the young born down south. Not being a birder myself, I don't know where "my" birds go in the winter, but I am always glad for their return.