Introduction: Invite a Barn Swallow
Swallows are attractive backyard birds for several reasons.
Their graceful, aerobatic, energetic flight can be a joy to watch as they swoop about, and their glossy plumage glitters in the sunlight.
They are relatively quiet species, and while their song is typically musical and chirping, they are less vocal than species such as thrushes or mockingbirds – perfect for backyard birders who prefer a quiet landscape.
The most desirable characteristic of swallows, swifts, and martins, however, is their voracious appetites. These insectivorous birds can consume hundreds of insects every day - from moths to mosquitoes - and inviting a family of them into the backyard can provide exceptional (and free!) pest control.
They will not be attracted by bird feeders or baths but they will come to find the specific mud they are after.
Step 1: Loctaion Location Location
The Barn Swallow almost never lands on the ground, the only time you can find a Swallow walking the ground is when it collects mud for building it's nest.
The Swallow will land in open spaces so when picking a spot for your mud pond it should be in the open, as far away from trees building and other obstacle.
Step 2: Tools and Materials for the Job
Step 3: Start the Digging....
Dig a pit 25 cm deep and half a meter long.
The pit can be as big and deep as you like, you can turn it into the a fish pond or a water plant pond but keep in mind to leave a shallow area where the Swallows will pick the mud.
Step 4: Clear Out the Dirt
Move the excess dirt to the the sides it will be used in the next step.
Step 5: Cover the Pit With the Trap
Cut the tarp at least 20 cm bigger then the pit. Make sure all the tarp edges are out side of the pit area.
Step 6: Securing the Tarp
Cover the trap edges with the excess dirt saved from earlier (don't worry if some dirt falls into the pit).
Step 7: Fill the Pit With Fresh Water
If the pit is only for Swallows 50% full is enough, mud will the 50% that remain.
Step 8: Check Your Work?!
Check that the tarp didn't move when water was added and that every thing is in-order (you might need to arrange some more dirt on the edges of the tarp).
Step 9: Swallow Mud
The most important step
Make a mixture of:
Silt and Sand can be bought in any hardware/gardening shop.
Clay can be bought from Hobby or arts shop.
Step 10: Put the Mud Mixture on the Sides of the Pond the More the Marrier
Step 11: Decorate the Pond As You Like
Step 12: And We Wait
Patience is essential for attracting swallows, and over time, if you meet all these birds' unique needs, you will be rewarded with their elegant and graceful company
Once a swallow couple will build a nest they will return every year for the nest 5-7 years
One nest is made out of 1000-1400 mud pelts that means a Swallow couple will have to make 500-700 rounds to complete the nest over a period of about two weeks.
The pelts a glued together by the clay and Swallows spit.