Mar 16, 2012
The barn swallows have returned to Campverano!
Last year was the first one in our new home, alternately described (depending upon my mood) as Casa Verano, Fort Summer, or St. Helena on the Prairie. Today I add a new name: Campverano, referencing my surname and California's Mission San Juan de Capistrano, of returning swallow fame.
As our first winter here in Hays County drew to a close in 2011, our house became home to a colony of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica). These wonderful, chatty birds have remarkable aerial-acrobatic skills (90º turns at high speed... inside the front porch!), and a voracious appetite for mosquitoes (perhaps 10X the appetite of the more popular Purple Martins).
Our colony began its migration back to South America at the height of the drought (a little early, according to what I've read). Migratory patterns would have them return in early February (which is when they arrived last year), but there was no sign of them in February or early March. I have worried they might not return as a result of that near-historic drought. In vain, I have looked every day for their return.
I spotted two today, swirling around the eaves my house. The swallows have returned to San Miguel de Campverano!