barn swallow nest

Ed Newbold newboldwildlife at
Sun Feb 14 23:18:17 PST 1999

Hi everybody,
I went to the Nisqually today, walked the entire dike in good weather and
failed to see or hear:
1. Belted Kingfisher
2. Purple Finch
3. American Kestrel
4. Meadowlark sp.

This is part of my campaign to counteract the positive data bias in birding.
After never having heard of or seen harriers hunting shorebirds, today I was
told two such stories. Two birders saw one capture a dunlin in the Nisqually,
only to lose it after a struggle. Then I heard about a Harrier catching a
Dunlin in the Stilly estuary yesterday (Moon, Droker, et al).
But here's what I'm really writing to find out. Last year we were landlords
to a Barn Swallow family above our front steps and they fledged three young.
Since they were a lot of fun and I've heard they are declining nationally, I
am understandably eager to have them back. They picked a really good safe
place where we can help them fight off cats and crows and it would probably be
good if they stayed exactly in that same place. So my question is: Should I
knock the old nest out or leave it there? I also have the same question
regarding my violet green swallows, which nested in a box built by the Rainier
Audubon Society and also fledged three: Should I empty the nest contents or
Thanks for everybody's time.
Ed Newbold
Newboldwildlife at

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