[mou] "Odd" Tree Swallow Behavior?

Bernard P. Friel wampy at att.net
Mon Apr 28 09:51:39 CDT 2008

I have observed the same behavior with purple martins in unseasonable cold
after their return, and counted 15 one evening enter one after another into
the 6²X 6²X 6² space of a single nest area of a martin house.  I assume, but
have no accurate information, that it is a way to keep warm and minimize
losses from freezing.
Bernard P. Friel
Web Pages - http://www.wampy.com  ;



From: Chiara Studios <sarah at chiarastudios.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 10:53:50 -0500
To: <mou-net at moumn.org>
Subject: [mou] "Odd" Tree Swallow Behavior?

I know that Tree Swallows are extremely social birds, and migrate in large
flocksŠ However yesterday with the cold snap and high winds, about 25 Tree
Swallows crammed themselves into our Bluebird next boxes (which are quite
small to begin with). Is this a normal type of behavior for the birds when
it gets cold? They shoved so many birds into each box that they couldn¹t get
back out. When we went out this morning we felt it necessary to open up the
boxes and we had 15 in one box and 9 in the other. In each box at the bottom
there was one casualty that appeared to be both crushed by the birds above
it as well as possibly suffocated.
There are 2 swallows who appear unable to fly, one looks strong but perhaps
dazed and cold, and the other looks injured. Would it be best to try to get
the two birds to the rehab center? We tried to put a secondary box out there
(cardboard) to help shelter them from the wind and I can pick up the birds
without fail and place them in, but they refuse to remain in the box for
safety or shelter. 
Thanks a million!
Brooklyn Park, MN 
(Near 610 and W. River Rd.)

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