Have the swallows at the Community Center Annex recovered?

By Laura Hagar Rush, Townsy Media, April 9, 2021

You might recall a story published in Sonoma West two years ago about the destruction of a barn swallow colony on the Community Center Annex building down on Morris Street. If you’ve been wondering whether the colony ever recovered, here’s some good news from Veronica Bowers of Native Songbird Care & Conservation, gleaned from her Facebook this week:

“Finally! This group has been slow to get started this year. In fact, today’s the first day this spring that I’ve seen this many of them here. They will start building soon. I was so worried they’d given up on this site. I’ve been watching this colony for 20 years. It has been getting smaller and smaller over the last 5 to 6 years. A pair of kestrels and jays have put a lot of pressure on it. The trees are getting bigger around the building, creating useful sites from which to observe and ambush nestlings poking their heads out of the nest entrances. Two years ago the Sebastopol public works department destroyed the colony in the first week of May. The public works department forgot to hose the nests down during the winter and when the Swallows arrived for the breeding season, they got right down to business in their old nests. Most of the nests had eggs and a couple had newly hatched young by the first week of May. I thought for sure this incident would be the final nail in the coffin for this group. About 20% of the colony rebuilt after that incident and it has remained that small ever since. I hope they have a wildly successful season this year.”

See the video here: