The Swallows Return

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night……will keep the swallows from returning to the Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day every year. Turns out while I wasn’t looking the swallows stopped their historic annual return in 2003. It can’t be blamed on the California weather or global warming. The swallows stopped coming when construction was going on at the Mission. The swallows did not return for over a decade. Now with the concerted efforts of the Mission staff, an ornithologist, recorded bird calls, and the building of a temporary nesting wall, the swallows are returning to Capistrano this year. So whether or not you think my post about the annual migration of our swallows is hot, I think it’s pretty cool.


Post inspired from today’s LA Times Article ‘Familiar Sights Returning to O.C.‘ about the swallows of San Juan Capistrano. Featured image of San Juan Capistrano Mission by Ken Lund via Flickr. Image of Cliff Swallow by Don Debold.

Unofficial motto of the US Postal Service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” inscription on James Farley Post Office in New York City.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today are “weather/whether.”

12 thoughts on “The Swallows Return

  1. JoAnna

    I’m so glad they have returned and that the mission staff cared enough to bring them back. When I was in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, my was stationed at Camp Pendleton. One of those years we went to Capistrano to see the swallows. I don’t remember it well, but I have a lovely old photo of my mom, sister and me there with birds all around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I did not realize they had stopped nesting there until I read the article in the LA Times. We haven’t driven down there since my kids were babies. It is a very pretty town and a pretty Mission. That sounds like a lovely memory and photo of the swallows. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie Wilson

    I’m glad that there are swallows somewhere, especially in an iconic place such as Capistrano. The populations in Ontario are in such steep decline that are deemed “threatened” by conservation authorities. I find that so very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I like to watch swallows swooping through the sky. I wonder what is causing Ontario to lose its swallows. Are they losing habitat? It is sad to lose species. Many things are under stress these days. I don’t see as many birds around our yard and worry about them, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maggie Wilson

        Yes to the habitat loss, I assume. Buildings that have stood for decades are being replaced or removed. Just last week I read that an airline closed the hangar doors to prevent entry while the nests were being removed. This was a colony that had been around since the 1950’s. You can imagine the outrage by conservationists. It it so sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Deborah Drucker Post author

        Interesting how the swallows like to nest on structures. Wonder if replacement structures could be built like the nesting wall. Would probably take a plan like was done in Capistrano. 🙂



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