The masters of aerial beauty and grace are back!
Like many other birds, swallows are suffering from loss of habitat and other environmental influences. Here’s how to help
I was prompted to upload this by reports of a sighting today of a pair of swallows dive-bombing horses at Parwich, in the Peak District, Derbyshire ( www.parwich.org ).
I love swallows (hirundo rustica) and their return home to Britain is always an absolute joy to witness – as it is for many others around the World in Northerly places, including North America.
The European swallows’ 6000 mile journey home from Southern Africa to where they were born and bred is one of the miracles of nature, and this most aerial of birds is a profound pleasure to behold. They weigh but 19 grams (just over half an ounce) and yet they fly their epic odyssey to their birthplace year in year out, for their entire life. Incredible! No wonder humankind has ever been made happy, written poetry, included them in countryside lore throughout the ages.
When I lived in Norfolk I witnessed the same pair of swallows return to my garage for over four years before I moved elsewhere, and to see their young being raised and fledged was something which brought much happiness.
With kind thanks to pampasg for permission to re-post his moving musical arrangement and accomplished editing of clips from the BBC’s “Earth Flight Europe” programme. Here are his programme notes:
“Swallows migrating from a 6000 mile journey to arrive at the barn they were born in.
Some nests have been in the family for 50 years. The male fixes the old nest up to attract a female. Those that are good at fixing their nest are allowed to mate more often. Feathers are a perfect option to renew the old nest. The female comes for a close inspection, to see if it is worthy, and so it is . All for the Magic of Love.”
Clips from BBC Earth flight Europe
Music By: Nick Phoenix / Thomas Bergersen….Magic of Love