[Bristol-Birds] Cliff Swallows nest on new house in Sullivan Co., TN

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 00:45:17 -0400

 The red arrow in the center of photo points to at least three Cliff Swallow 
nests built 
 and remaining on this large house on the shore of South Holston Lake in the 
 Creek Embayment just off TN Rt. 44 in Sullivan County.  I took this photo Wed.,
 6 Oct 2010.  One of the nests was broken up a bit and the others were in good 
 A check on two sides of the house found several "mud circles" under the roof 
of the
 front porch, indicating that the swallows had also built several nests there 
but were
 apparently removed by the owners.  The species has been expanding its range and
 nesting sites in the region with regularity for about four decades.  Have we 
now reached
 the point that the species no longer has adequate, typical, culverts, bridge 
 and such to establish colonies ?  Is this the beginning of building nests on 
 houses along local reservoirs ? It could become a real problem for homeowners. 
 Swallows have nested in barns and out buildings of the area since Dr. Lee 
 reported more than two dozen in two barns at Siam, in Carter Co., TN in the 
 of 1947.  In May 1960, Bob Quillen had a nest in a small building on his farm 
south of 
 Mendota, VA along the North Fork Holston River.  I saw an abandon barn on 
 View Rd. about a mile NE of Piney Flats in Sullivan Co., TN in the early 
1960's that 
 had the "mud circles" on rafters where about a half dozen nests had been built 
 were gone at that time. There are others.  Birders might want to be alert for 
 Cliff Swallow nests on any structure other than the bridges and culverts.  We 
 see a return to building in old, large, out buildings or even on other new 

 Let's go birding . . . .

 Wallace Coffey
 Bristol, TN  

JPEG image

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  • » [Bristol-Birds] Cliff Swallows nest on new house in Sullivan Co., TN - Wallace Coffey