Adorable! Lubbock’s Sweetest Residents Have An Unexpected Home
I have a deep love for all kinds of birds, especially those I have encountered in person. I am grateful that here in Lubbock, I've had the opportunity to see up close all kinds of birds- from large and majestic peacocks to tiny and sweet little finches. Wild turkeys, roadrunners, hawks, vultures- you name it, I love them. I even love the oily and frazzled-looking grackle. I am a little unsure about blue jays. They are kinda jerks.
Perhaps the cutest of all birds is the round and soft swallow. Yes, they are very soft! I participated in a study at Carlsbad Caverns that required me to catch them in a net and hold them inside my shirt so they could be weighed and observed for other characteristics. They are kitten soft. They are also incredibly advantageous birds to have around.
Luckily Lubbock is home to swallows, who are insectivorous, meaning they help keep our mosquito population in check. Matt Cavazos recently captured some images of their unusual nests, which are also in an unusual place:
This colony has constructed mud nests under a bridge. It makes me wonder if early humans got the idea to make pottery from a mud-nesting bird. Interestingly, swallows are not the only birds to make mud nests. Magpies, martins, and even flamingos have mud nests, along with even more species.
Some folks will call these birds a "nuisance" because they can make a mess (especially if they colonize your barn) but they are legally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Only inactive nests may be removed.
Also, to reintegrate, they are making Lubbock a little more adorable. And you have to admire the ability to make the underside of a bridge your home.