Date: 6/23/20 3:32 pm
From: Robert O'Brien <baro...>
Subject: [obol] Re: swallows?
I agree completely with Larry. This is serious, and has been recognized. A
recent article in National Geographic details what has happened to insect
populations over recent decades. As usual it mostly uses human interest
aspects, rather than 'the big picture'.
The major organization trying to combat this, in this case with respect to
pollinators, is Xerces.
An uphill battle. And, as Larry states, pollination is just the tip of the
iceberg. A great many birds depend upon insects, whether they pollinate
commercially important crops or not. And I suspect Xerces has just focused
on pollinators because it is currently a matter of widespread discussion.
Environmental work over decades has brought back the Wolf. More or less.
Insects will be much more difficult. But infinitely more important.
Bob OBrien Carver OR

On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 12:08 PM Larry McQueen <larmcqueen...>

> It is the same situation in my neighborhood. Swallows and swifts are no
> longer seen and heard in the sky, when in the recent past they were
> seasonally omnipresent. There is no more enjoyable spring-time chattering
> of Violet-greens at 3 a.m.
> Kill off the insects and guess what happens! This trully, is serious.
> Larry
> On Jun 22, 2020, at 11:02 PM, Robert O'Brien <baro...> wrote:
> I've been watching swallows nesting at my place for 40+ years. Their
> numbers have greatly declined over this period. At one point there were
> barn, tree, VG.
> The tree dropped out first, then the barn, leaving VGs in decline. Here
> is the pattern I see for VGs (and perhaps the others but there are none to
> observe).
> They show up with 'good weather days' i.e. no rain, and start
> investigating our many birdhouses. if good weather persists they commence
> nest building, etc.
> In good years young are produced. In most years a multiday rainy period
> occurs, and after some days they simply abandon the nest and don't nest
> that year.
> That happened again this year, but, as Darrel says, with the good weather
> of recent days they are flying around the nests again, which had been
> partially built.
> It's still early in the nesting period, so likely enough time to be
> successful. We live about 1/4 mile from the Clackamas River and the
> riverine area undoubtedly provides lots of insects, maybe even during rainy
> periods. Our swallows could and probably do feed there, but nevertheless
> prolonged rainy periods terminate nesting. I'm not suggesting this
> phenomenon occurs elsewhere but it certainly happens here. Perhaps
> swallows nesting in other areas are successful every year weather
> notwithstanding?. ,
> On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:22 PM <t4c1x...> wrote:
>> Has anyone else noticed a recent reduction in swallows? A few weeks ago
>> there were about six or eight pairs apparently preparing to nest here at
>> Thornton Creek, (Lincoln), but now there are only a couple pair each of
>> Barn Swallows and Violet-greens. It could be that the females are sitting
>> on eggs, but it looks more like some birds simply left the area. It stayed
>> cold and wet here right up to the end of last week, and I wonder if some of
>> the birds just departed to more suitable places.
>> Darrel

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