Tag Archives: Cliff Swallow

The Return of the Swallows

Most of us are aware of the famed Mission at San Juan Capistrano. More accurately, most people are aware of the return of thousands of swallows during the month of March. March 19th or St Joseph’s Day was the schedule for this event. Today there are very few swallows actually nesting at the mission is the real truth. As a result of the 1812 earthquake much of the roof collapsed. Now left bare and exposed are the two-story arches of the great stone church. During reconstruction the nests were removed to protect the swallows. As luck would have it, the swallows moved to other adjacent locations and created new nests. Few have ever returned to the mission.

Swallows Arrive

Cliff Swallows nest with juvenile peering outThe fabled swallows of San Juan Capistrano still arrive in the area every year though most of their nests are under local bridges or often under the eaves of local establishments. The photos here are from the nearby Tree of Life Nursery adjacent to Casper’s Regional Park. Located off Ortega Hwy it is about 15 minutes east of the mission. (Young looking out of its nest shown on the left)
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