My room mates

I bought my house in November 2002 – the first house I ever owned.  Being lifelong military, we always moved a lot.  But finally, after my divorce, I settled down and bought my own place.  I moved to Florida for a while, but kept this house (luckily) and moved back to it after 8 months and four hurricanes.

About four months after I bought the house I heard a lot of chirping in the chimney.  Worried about maybe starting a fire if I used the fireplace, I called a chimney sweep.

He told me I had three Barn Swallow’s nests in the chimney, and told me he would remove them, but they had eggs in them.  He asked what I wanted to do.

I couldn’t bring myself to destroy the eggs, so I asked about the danger (low, because they are not straw nests – they are mud, affixed to the brick).  Learning that they really weren’t harming anything, I decided to let them stay.

Since then I’ve enjoyed having about 30 baby Barn Swallows falling down my chimney, and learning to fly in my house.  Last week in one day alone I found three of them.  They are fairly easy to catch, and once they “get their wings” (a couple hours, max) I just pick them up, and let them out the door.

Tonight another dropped out of the chimney – but this one was a little different.  This one was VERY vocal (I am assuming it was a female – heh)!  It screeched and screeched (well, as much as these little things could screech).

I caught “her” after letting her fly for about an hour and took a couple photos before I let her loose.  They are so tiny, and fragile.  But I like having them “drop in” once a year – always the same time of year.  I know there are at least a couple more up there – not all of them end up falling into the house – some of them manage to fly out the chimney (I assume).  But most of them spend a few hours in free-flight in my living room first, so I expect a few more visitors in the next few days.


  1. They really don’t go all crazy flying around – they’ll fly to a curtain rod or something, and hang out for an hour or two – then fly to a door jam or something.

    A little bird poop on my keyboard seems like a small price to pay for their companionship. I’ve paid much higher prices with some human relationships 😉

    Now my canaries, if I let them out, fly endlessly. I have a large circular route through the dining room, family room, living room, kitchen and breakfast area that they just scream through. You need to keep your wits about you if they are loose (only when I am cleaning thier cage) or they may just pile-drive you!

  2. When I first moved to San Antonio in April 2002, I knew no one in town. One day I noticed what looked like a mudball on the eve of our apartment building stairwell, which I was the view from my “office” at the time. Pretty soon I saw that it was a Barn Swallow nest. That spring I really enjoyed my “friend” on the stairwell as she hatched two clutches of baby birds, fed them and then encouraged them to fly away. I spent two springs at that apartment before we moved to our house. It could be said that the barn swallows were the first to welcome me to SA. I miss them. Not sure how I would feel about them dropping into my living room though…

  3. Heads up! 😆