Next time you’re at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, keep an eye out for the swallows.
For about 5 years now, the Mission has attempted to lure San Juan’s famous migrating birds back to its grounds, and it looks like the efforts are finally working.
The swallows have been coming back to San Juan Capistrano, but there hasn’t been a new nest at the Mission in a long time. Since 2012, the Mission has been working with Dr. Charles Brown, a swallows expert and professor of biological sciences at the University of Tulsa, to work on encouraging the swallows to come back. They’ve done everything from playing recorded courtship calls through a speaker on the grounds to deploying manmade nests (since swallows often prefer to inhabit existing nests).
Rough-winged swallows have been spotted nesting in the ruins of the Great Stone Church at the Mission, and it’s thought they may be largely responsible for motivating the cliff swallows to come back and settle. Apparently, cliff swallows have a thing for their rough-winged counterparts.
No matter the reason, it looks like the cliff swallows are back. A second nest and multiple birds have been spotted. Welcome back, guys!