Bird #12 — Cliff Swallow

petrochelidon (from petros, stone or rock, and chelidon, swallow) pyrrhonota (red-backed, in allusion to rump)

Tuesday, May 29, 1979 — 10:00 am

McNaughton, Wisconsin

I was with my girlfriend and some friends. We stopped at the gas pumps in front of a bar.  The Cliff Swallows were swooping over the road and nearby fields.  There was a row of about 20 mud nests under the eaves of the building.  Some of these nests were in pretty poor shape and a few had collapsed completely.  A few dead babies laid on the parking lot under the nests.  Occasionally one of the swallows would enter a nest for a few moments.  I stood nearby watching them fly around, and one of them circled my head a few times, only three feet above my upturned face.

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