Date: 6/15/18 7:52 am From: David Muth <MuthD...> Subject: [LABIRD-L] Cliff Swallow colony Baton Rouge
While in a meeting Wednesday in the Center for Coastal and Deltaic Studies Building at 1110 River Road S., I was constantly being distracted by swirling flocks of Cliff Swallows outside the windows. There is a substantial nesting colony under the old Baton Rouge wharf, and something kept driving the birds off their nests and into the air. I eventually slipped away for a minute and discovered it was crows raiding the colony. I saw at least one crow carrying off a nestling. I very loosely and conservatively estimated 100 swallows airborne during one attack, but it could be many more. I did not have time to listen for calls, so I am unsure what species of crow was involved. Given the frequency with which the birds were being disturbed, I truly wonder how successful the colony will be.
You can reach the building from parking along River Road. The building is raised and projects beyond the levee to the river's edge and the ground floor is open so I imagine it is ok to walk out to the river, but I do not know for sure. In any case the colony can be viewed from the levee and batture just upriver.
I was without binoculars so I had no opportunity to look for Cave Swallows, but the viewing conditions are excellent.