Monday, June 22, 2009

When the swallows come back to...Safeway

Guess that phrase above is nowhere as lyrics. Besides, der Bingle is long gone. However, this was my wonderful surprise today when I went shopping for deli meats and cheese to feed the Sson and family who arrive from Louisiana any moment now. It's a colony of swallows who've moved into the twin peaks at the front of the Safeway building on Willow Creek Road. Directly overhead, BTW; those nests are snuggled way up against the ceiling at the point where it meets the wall. Guaranteed to produce a crick in one's neck after a short photo shoot.

See that little guy to the left (above)? He/she is working on another nest (below, right). Amazing that the swallows can produce enough spit to hold all those little mud balls in place.

I lucked out, catching this image of a swallow about to land. At first I wondered that the great big corporation was allowing a handful of wild critters to make homes in the overhead nooks and crannies, then realized that Jay's Bird Barn is practically cheek by jowel to Safeway. I'm sure Erik is encouraging the manager to let the birds nest. In fact, the company deserves a big loud thank-you from us all!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you, Safeway!

The customers may have to tolerate some protective dive bombing until the families leave the nests.

:)

~Anon in AV.

worldphotos4 said...

GJ, great photos. Wow, the work involved with making those nests is incredible.

OmegaMom said...

What grand pics, mamasan! You need to check out Del's five-part series on the cliff swallows up at NAU - http://del.typepad.com/

Say "Hi!" to the bro & family! We'll be there Sunday or Monday (might shack up in the Valley of Death overnight after our red-eye flight).

pb said...

Just beautiful. Peaceful counterpoint to the Tsunami post below...

Changes in the wind said...

Great pictures...great post.

azlaydey said...

G J, you never cease to amaze me with your incredible photos and view of the world around us. I didn't even know we had swallows in this area. I'll have to stop and take a peak at Mother Nature at work.

stitchwort said...

Hope they are more successful than the house-martins that built under our gable; no chicks, and then the nest fell down.
:(

Jarart said...

What amazing builders they are!

RV-boondocker-explorer said...

Mud ball nests, with no fibrous reinforcement? You'd think that they would be weak.

Granny J said...

anon av -- don't know about the dive bombing -- those nests are pretty high up and, though there were a lot in and out flights, I didn't see anything that looked like dive bombing.

dotter -- I will take a look; I recall the cliff swallow holes in the Oak Creek river bank at Pete's place in Cornville. Hope it's Sunday!

pb -- yes, two very different worlds.

windy -- thank you; glad you enjoyed.

lady -- many years ago, there were swallow nests under the overhang at the downtown library & you've got to admit that we have a lot of cliffs in Central AZ.

stitch -- the nest fell down -- what a tragedy!

jarart -- just imagine if we had to build our houses that way...

boonie -- their spittle must resemble a form of SuperGlue...

dagnygromer said...

Great photo of the swallow landing on the nest!

There is a large population of cliff swallows at the YRMC hospital, which is right near Safeway.

Kathleen said...

Wow - those are amazing photos! I didn't know that we had swallows here, either. I had never seen a swallow nest before this. I may have to swing in there and take a peek at them - from a respectable distance, that is!

Granny J said...

steve -- yeah, lots of work -- each one of those spit balls represents a trip to the mud source and back.

dagny -- I'll bet that the cienga at the corner is what makes the area a great one for cliff swallows.

frame -- yes, be sure to take a look. It's quite a sight.

del said...

Those are awesome pics of the swallow nests. I love how the different nests are building alongside and merging with one another. Very cool. I've seen swallows nesting at the Flagstaff Wal-Mart, arguably the busiest shopping center in town. These guys are remarkably tolerant of human activity.

As I understand it, it's illegal under the migratory bird act to mess with swallow nests once they're established. That could be why the businesses haven't knocked the nests down.

Anonymous said...

GJ, are your guests there?

Steve in Germany

Granny J said...

del -- thanks for the info about the nests... and, BTW, great posts that you've done on the Flagstaff swallows!

steve -- yep -- arrived late yesterday, which is why no blog last night. Maybe I can get one up this afternoon while they are out registering the Pinzgauer.

EVERYBODY -- do go to Del's blog to see his series of posts about the Flagstaff swallows.

 
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