Ruckus Ridge Farm
Irene, South Dakota
For the Birds
Barn Swallow Condos
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One of the things that we had to do while cleaning up the yard area, was to tear down the old barn. It was just about ready to fall down, and we had used cables to tie the walls together until we could do it. However, this barn was a favorite nesting site of many Barn Swallows that came here for their summer nesting season. And Swallows eat lots of insects so we definitely want them to come back. So, we had to build some sort of replacement nesting site for them.
The original idea had been to build a free standing swallow condo. But we were running out of time, and did not have everything that we needed in order to do this. So between the two of us, we came up with this design. We know that swallows prefer not to build their nests within sight of another nest. At least, not very close. However we had seen that they will build back to back as long as there is something hiding the other from view. We also noticed that they prefer old barns. Although they will nest just about anywhere if their preference is not readily available.Here you see the first one mounted on the back of the tractor shed.
So we used old, weathered fence boards to simulate an old barn, we put in dividers so that they would not be able to see their neighbor, and we added a small ledge to help support the mud nests. The front face is to help protect from wind and sun, with the bottom open for ventilation.
This photo is without the front so that you can see the basic construction including the little ledges.
Here you see the same one with the front piece attached.
We have put three across the back of the tractor shed. This is the west facing side.
Two on the West side of the Gourd Shed
And one more around the corner on the south side of the Gourd Shed for a total of six. This whole thing is an experiment as we have no idea if they will even like their new condos. All we can do now is wait and see.