Learning about a unique bird spotted in Rochester

Learning about a unique bird spotted in Rochester.
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 12:02 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –An interesting bird can be seen around Rochester during the summer months, they make themselves at home underneath bridges and overpasses, but with a very unusual nest.

Cliff swallows in Rochester.
Cliff swallows in Rochester.(MGN)

If you have ever seen these nests underneath a bridge, you may have wondered what they are. Oxbow Park naturalist, Clarissa Schrooten, knows all about these birds.

“They are cliff swallows they are ones that prefer to go on cliffs to do some nesting and here you can see a whole bunch of their nest sites above, they use mud and spit materials to make those nests,” Schrooten explained.

Cliff swallows are known for settling in colonies and are in the same bird family as barn swallows. Schrooten said these birds are known for putting their nests in human structures and are very adaptable to living alongside humans.

Each summer swallows migrate to the Midwest from as far away as South America.

“I think a lot of people don’t appreciate swallows for what they are, but they are very acrobatic in flight, and they catch insects that are in flight as well but to see this and them flying around so much is amazing,” Schrooten added.

To tell if a swallow is home in its nest, look for a bright beak poking out of the nest.