Like most Las Vegas residents, I see more pigeons in one day then any other bird we have here and, unlike most birds, they don’t migrate, so they NEVER leave! On top of that, during certain times of the year some birds actually migrate to (or through) Las Vegas or use the valley as their summer breeding place. One of those birds is the Cliff Swallow.
The Cliff Swallow visits Las Vegas during summer migration from South America to other states like California, Washington, Montana, Canada and many more. Because the Cliff Swallow forages for flying insects as it is in flight, it can withstand flight for a long period of time. Once migration is over, a nesting area is chosen and the nest is built.
A Cliff Swallow’s nest is made of small to medium mud pellets, with tunnel like entrance coming in from one side. Nesting can occur on a vertical wall of a home, usually under an eave, or in the corner of a rock wall. Although there nests are brittle, the mud pellets used to construct the nest sticks “like paper mache” to any surface. These mud pellet nests can hang from walls with as many as 3700 nests to a single area.
Often times a Cliff Swallow mother will lay eggs in the nest of another swallow, with no concern. Once juveniles have hatched and are ready to fly, they all leave together in one large group called a “creches”. A Cliff Swallow pair can find its young within the creches by there specific twitter or distinctive markings.
Although Cliff Swallows are a low sighting within Las Vegas there season of migration is the summer and can be seen through out Henderson, Lake Mead, and Lake Las Vegas.
Do mud nests from Cliff Swallows hang from your home or business? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.