Friday, August 3, 2018

Barn Swallows

Today is an eldercare day.  We are covering both morning (8-to-1) and evening (5-to-8).

That gave me a short window of time to do something around the homestead.

Putting up some ledges for Barn Swallow nests fit the bill.

The ledges are nothing fancy.  The cheapest, roughest wood you can find is best.  These are 2-by-4s flanged with 1-by-3 furring strips.  I used 1-3/4" construction screws to put them together.

The 4"-by-6" post will need to be sheathed with flashing to make it raccoon resistant.

According to Richard and Diane Van Vleck

Every nest in the colony has its rim approximately 1 1/2" from the ceiling. The swallows seem not to mind unusually low or high ceilings, they just prefer to build right up near the ceiling....The average base of the swallow nests is 5 1/2" below the ceiling. Nesting shelves provided in my workshop where all the wood is planed and painted were readily accepted when they were placed 5" to 6" below the ceiling, but not when inadvertantly placed substantially lower.

Of course, 5-1/2" is the width of a standard, planed 2-by-6.  Guess what I used as a shim to set the spacing.

My hope is that Barn Swallows will eat Japanese Beetles.  This barn is within 30 yards of the vineyard.


  1. That works! And hopefully they DO eat the beetles!

  2. If they do, I will build miles of them. Even tho I detest those swallows. Like tree swallows tho.


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