[Bristol-Birds] swallow roost at Bristol Regional Medical Center

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 21:56:29 -0400

A significant Barn Swallow roost has been established
in the west end physician's parking lot of the Bristol
Regional Medical Center. 

According to hospital security officer Carol Addison, 
they have been there two to three weeks.  They 
nest in a single tree.  The roost was there this time
last year.  He has been working security for the
Bristol hospital buildings for 28 years.

"I suspect we have three thousand or more," Addison
said.  "They will be here for maybe a couple of weeks
or more."

I agree with his estimate but such a large number of
birds dashing low over parking lots, fields and tree
tops and many at very high heights, are difficult to
count.  It is often easy to get a good estimate of
swallows on powerlines and compared with the 
proportion of birds in the air to what may be perched.
Did not see these birds perched but did see maybe
a hundred land briefly on a parking lot to pick at 

The first swallows arrived at 8:15 p.m. which tonight
was 14 minutes before sunset at 8:49 p.m.  All but
a very small percent were in the roost tree by 9:04 p.m.
The flight and arrival spanned about 49 minutes.

Within the first 10 minutes, about 20 Purple Martins
were in the group but they were never seen to go to
the roost.  I don't know where they went.

The roost tree is about 30-40 feet high, spanning
windows over three levels from the parking lot but
that probably has no relevance to the inside patient
floor numbers.  It is in the corner of two brick walls and
has asphalt parking pavement below.  It could easily
have heat and protection all night from those surfaces.

Bert Hale reports the birds coming right up to the
windows at the fourth floor.  They may be drawn
there by insects attracted to the lights from inside.

Let's go birding . . . .

Wallace Coffey
Bristol, TN



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: bert hale 
  To: Bristol-birds 
  Sent: July 10, 2010 08:57
  Subject: [Bristol-Birds] Lots of Birds--Sat affternoon

  Hey out  there in Bird Land.

  Those of you Bristol area birders who are not at the picnic,with nothing to 
do,  might want to go to Bristol Regional Medical Center (the hospital) to see 
a bunch of birds. They were there until dark last night -- a Sight to Behold.

  For what it's worth.

  Bert Hale, Bluff City TN (Sullivan /Cy.)

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