aggressive barn swallow problem

jasper60103

I enjoy feeding the birds up until a few days ago. I was carrying a bucket of seeds to my feeders in the backyard and barn swallows started dive bombing me. I spilled my seeds trying to get away! They have been nesting under my raised deck for several years, and I haven't had a problem until now.

I can't go in my backyard now. They even sound the alarm when I go out on my front porch. I need to drive this bunch away. I can knock down the nest, but are there other solutions? I have a wife and child. Fortunately they were out of town this week.

Any ideas?

thanks,

jasper

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spedigrees z4VT

Some individual barn swallows are more aggressively protective of their babies than other barn swallows. (It was this over-aggressiveness that got one of our parent swallows killed earlier this year when they kept dive-bombing our cat. One swoop too many! Whereas other years our swallows have avoided the cat and stayed safely high up in eaves where their nest was.)

Most swallows do become aggressive for a day or two before their little ones fly the nest and for several days after. During this time period it is wise to avoid the nest and the area around it. (I keep my cat indoors during this week.)

It is unlikely however that the dive-bombing swallows will actually harm you or your family with their defensive attacks. I advise that you take advantage of the fledging period to watch the babies fly from a safe distance or inside the house, if the windows offer a view. It would be a great chance to introduce your child to the natural world of birds. Or if that isn't possible, just avoid the area for about a week. By then the babies will have flown and the parents will not be defending their nest.

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jasper60103

yea, I'm hoping I can wait it out if it doesn't take too long. I didn't cut my lawn this weekend because their aggressive behavior. I'll see what happens next weekend. Hopefully things return to normal as I do normally like the birds.

thanks,
jasper

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bbcathy

So happy you are able to enjoy the swallows. I'm lucky enough to have Tree Swallows as well as Barnies. They all really keep the mosquito population down when they are here. I can really tell when they leave as I get so many bites. As stated they usually only do this near fledging time. They will NOT hit you. At the speed they fly they would hurt themselves. They just want to scare you and apparently they are doing a good job of it. LOL You are not alone. Everyone I know runs and screams from them. I don't duck anymore and they have never hit me yet. When they follow the lawn mower they are just flying around to get the bugs you kick up. They actually like it when you cut the grass. You are lucky to have free no poison bug control. Have fun with them.
Cathy

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jasper60103

yea, kinda embarrassing. I'm a big guy and afraid to death of those little devils. I'm not even near their nest, but when they see me they go crazy! I feel sorry for the other birds because I haven't been able to feed them in the last 4 days. Thanks.

jasper

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spedigrees z4VT

We all have our phobias! LOL (Mine are wasps and hornets.)

Good luck with the swallow situation. Hopefully and probably it will soon be over!

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cjc45

Are you sure you're not just creating an alibi for when your wife gets back and the back yard isn't mowed? :0)

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rachellem65

Thank you so much. That was exactly what I was hoping to hear. I love birds but these tree are making my beautiful backyard seem like Alfred Hitchcock's The birds..lol..as long as they are not going to peck my eyes out I can cope. And they can eat all the skeeters they want. ✌

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catherinet

We have them in our fields, but they are too busy chasing bugs to bother us. But.....when I was young, my father had an office in an older house. The barn swallows had built a nest on the front porch. Whenever we would go anywhere near there, they would dive-bomb us. It was pretty scary. So I'm thinking they are only like that if their nest is close by...??

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jasper60103

Fortunately, I haven't had many problems with the swallows since starting this thread in 2009. I guess they lost interest in me. :)

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Tina Lynn

I just discovered what little birdie built a nest above my porch window. It turns out is a Barn Swallow. Both mom and dad bird are on the tiny ledge and dad is very protective. Cute little critters but can be intimidating. :D


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mlbrundi92

I took a walk in Bloomington, MN yesterday. I was cutting through a baseball diamond and walked next to the small field house, where I suddenly was dive-bombed by many swallows. Wow, it was definitely like "The Birds"! I typically like watching birds, but this was a bit much! The swallows fly SO fast and came within it seemed inches of my head, that I screamed and ran waving my arms. I surely looked like a crazy person :) ! Good to hear this behavior will probably stop after babies fledge from the field house nest. I wonder how many baseball players have been "surprised" this summer. I will eye the field house with suspicion forever on future walks. :)

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Konrad..just outside of Edmonton Alberta

Yeah...only for a short period which I think most of us can wait out until fledged. I don't think the dive bombing has ever touched or harmed anybody.

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dbarron

They won't hurt you...and it will only last a couple of weeks.

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mlbrundi92

Thanks, guys! After reading your comments, I will try to be braver next time. I look forward to checking it out soon as the babies probably fledged or will fledge soon. :)

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kennywaynebentley

We have them in our warehouse at work. We are located in East Texas. This morning, while I was walking through the warehouse, headed to my office I noticed 2 babies on the warehouse floor. From previous experience I know to stay clear as the adult birds go crazy. I tried giving them their space, no luck, they were still dive bombing like crazy. This makes it very hard to run a business when they interfere with production. I am thinking of building them their own little area away from the warehouse but still on the property. Any suggestions, I don't want them harmed or even moved off the property, but still need to run our business.

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jasper60103

I was lucky. They've since moved their nesting grounds without any intervention from me. LOL.

They will be aggressive until those babies are gone.

I would steer clear for now.

Good luck. :)

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Mike Billings

I have a barn swallow nest on my front porch with 4 nearly grown babies in it. The Adults have been very aggressive whenever I am in my front or side yards. They dive bomb me noisily and have actually struck the top of my head a couple of times. There are about 10 - 12 different adult birds flying around, Maybe the extended family. It is good to know that hopefully this will stop after the little ones fly. Will the adults have another brood this summer?

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dbarron

Usually not, but sometimes I've seen a second hatch. I always wondered if that was either due to ample food or something happened to the earlier brood. They do seem to have extended families though as you mentioned.

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Mike Billings

I really like them; they are so beautiful! I plan on leaving the nest in place over the winter so hopefully they may come back next year. In the meantime, I wear safety glasses in the yard and may start wearing my bicycle helmet just in case.

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dbarron

They usually prefer to build fresh nests each year (mite infestations and the like), but sometimes they do reuse.

I never had them do anything worse than a featherful fly by or perhaps slight pulling of hair. But your swallows could be more aggressive, after all, they're the evolutionary descendants of velociraptors :) (hee)

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Mike Billings

Well, the four babies fledged yesterday so I was able to water my flowers in relative peace in the afternoon. Then, surprise, surprise, the little ones were back in the nest at dawn today!

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dbarron

That is a surprise, I've never noticed them returning to the nest.

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Shari Brandon

Same thing happened to me and I am afraid to go nto my barn if my husband is not with me. We have a nest on my porch and 30 birds were diving at my dogs. Poop is everywhere.

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Mike Billings

our four babies were out of the nest all day yesterday but returned around sundown and were still there this morning. I guess they have to roost somewhere.

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clarrie11

We have a bluebird box that has been habitually inhabited by bluebirds for five years. Last year, a black bear went on a romp in our backyard and trashed the box, apparently looking for food. We put in a new one and were so happy to see it inhabited by bluebirds this year. But now, swallows have taken over the bluebird box. We don't know what they did to the poor bluebirds. These swallows are aggressive and dive bomb us. How and when is the best way to remove the nest from the box? Any ideas? Thanks!

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