Cliff Swallows Nest Building For Camera Critters #51

by Larry Jordan on March 28, 2009

Cliff Swallows Building Nests photos by Larry Jordan

These Cliff Swallows have just returned to northern California and are beginning to build their nests.  They nest in colonies, in grass lined covered nests made of mud pellets, usually under bridges or eaves of buildings or on cliffs.  This photo shows a Cliff Swallow leaving the nest with some nesting material in its beak.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cliff Swallow will sometimes lay their eggs in another swallow’s nest or carry an egg in its beak from their own nest to another female swallow’s nest.  Isn’t that interesting behavior?

I just added this video I shot today to let you see the swallow’s actions and hear their calls.

This colony nests in an old concrete building at the Turtle Bay Museum in Redding Cailifornia.  If you want to see more great critter photos, check out Camera Critters!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki-ann March 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

Is it me or do 2 of the nests in the 1st photo look like a pair of eyes? 😀

Nikki-anns last blog post..2 Lambs


Norm March 28, 2009 at 8:05 am

what a cute little birds, nice post very interesting. Visit my Canadian geese here and thanks.

Norms last blog post..Acne Treatments


Oskar March 28, 2009 at 9:38 am

I guess they are pretty cool, for birds.

Oskars last blog post..Oskar & The Devil Squirrel


Snap March 28, 2009 at 9:49 am

I love the photos of the swallows and their story. It’s always fun to learn something. Thanks!

Snaps last blog post..Camera Critters 51


Tink *~*~* March 28, 2009 at 10:02 am

Sounds like some form of birdie adoption program to me. I wonder why they do it?

Happy Critturday!
Tink *~*~*
Just hangin’ around at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tink *~*~*s last blog post..Just hangin’ around at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Monika Wieland March 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm

A great couple of photos – I love the top one especially! I wonder if they transfer eggs to other nests to avoid having to invest time incubating? More likely it is to increase the number of their eggs being incubated, I suppose.

Monika Wielands last blog post..Earth Hour This Saturday


Teena in Toronto March 29, 2009 at 3:54 am

Nice action shots!

I played too 🙂

Teena in Torontos last blog post..Saturday walkabout


Dianne March 29, 2009 at 6:25 am

thanks for the close-ups!!

Diannes last blog post..Camera Critters: Standing On The Corner Watching All The Geese Go By


Pagan Sphinx March 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

These are wonderful captures of the swallows working on their nests. I love swallows. Very pretty and elegant birds.


chris March 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm

A very nice report on nest-building for this species, Iðm amazed to see their colors. In France, they are not that colorful (no red for example), but they breed in the same type of structure.

chriss last blog post..Something different!


Cheryl April 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

From Bend, OR. I’ve seen my first swallows this evening, April 7. The last two years they have arrived around March 19. They are a little late this year.


Zeeshan January 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thanks for cool close ups


Anna IronCloud April 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

Do these birds nest in Lakeside, CA? It’s in East County, in San Diego, CA. Also are the eggs very small, either off-white or a very very light blue, (hard to tell) with brown speckles on them? My son showed me a broken egg this morning. It was on the sidewalk, below our upside-down-U-shaped, Spanish tile roof. I would appreciate any insight you may have. I’ve looked all over the web and this website is amazing! Thank you 🙂


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