Whew! The weekend is over before we even really knew it began! Jennifer is working on preparing program outlines that are due this week so we did not do much other than a quick venture to the coffee shop, lots of home chores and a couple of walks to go see the cliff swallows Jennifer wrote about here.
Once in sight of the swallows on our first walk we realized they were not alone and were in fact under assault by 3-4 children. The parent swallows were swooping around all upset because the human children were throwing large rocks at the nests. :(
We appealed to the kid's sense of wonder first to perhaps stir an awakening that these living creatures are mighty cool. We walked on a bit and then came back to find them on the other side of the bridge doing the same thing. We told them what they were doing was wrong and they had until we got home to get out of there because we were calling a conservation officer. Finding no conservation officer to call, we called the non-emergency police line and reported their behavior. We know an officer was dispatched, but don't know whether the kids were still there once the police arrived.
We took a walk back to the swallows today to find about 8-10 nests destroyed on one side with nesting material and eggs on the ground. The other side obviously had some destroyed too, but we did not get close enough to count.
SO - the point of this post is not to depress, but to inform. We confirmed with a friend who is a former U.S Fish & Wildlife employee that it is ILLEGAL TO DESTROY BIRD NESTS (or feathers, eggs, birds, or pieces & parts thereof) of any species other than house sparrows, pigeons & starlings. Eurasian collared doves are being considered for the latter grouping as well. All this is outlined in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
So - word to the wise. Let's help protect our avian friends!