laturcotte1September 21, 2008

In July came home from work one day and found many, many small brown, birds flying frantically around the property, the goat pen was full of them. They are a little smaller than a sparrow. In a few weeks I noticed the horse fly population was down quite a bit and nearly completely gone. Then I started watching these little guys. They would hop, jump, swoop, at the flies taking them right out of mid air. They took them right out of the bushes and grasses. They collected straw, hay and grain and off they would go for the night only to return in late afternoon for a feast. Then on day they were gone. Not sure what they were but hope they come back next year.

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bill7(NW MN)

I am certainly NOT an expert. The only birds that fit that description around here are the swallows. They do come and go throughout the summer, and they but a hurtin' on the mosquito and fly population, etc. We definitely notice when they are gone.

Sounds like a good bird to have around.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:46AM
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Might they be swifts of some sort? I know chimney swifts will clean out the insect population of an area and not even hiccup!
Try posting your question on the nature forum or bird watching forum. Those people will know more about birds and their habits.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 11:18AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Were they eating the grain they collected? Most insectivorous birds are strict insects-only little guys, I believe. If they were eating both insect AND grains, I'd say they were finches or some kind of sparrow.

Any markings on the birds, and did they have a basic wing structure or a delta-shaped wing (think swallows)?

In my area (southern California) we get some little gnat catchers--delicate looking little grayish birds that flit around and eat bugs, with lots of tail flicking and a high 'pwee-pwee' type call. :) They are smaller than sparrows but have the same basic body & wing shape. I've never seen them collecting grains, though. Yours could be swallows, if you are near a waterway of some kind like a small stream, creek, or aqueduct. I doubt if they were cowbirds, because cowbirds are bigger than a sparrow.

Whatever yours are, good for you for having them find you and take care of the bug population! Send them my way, would ya? :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 4:01PM
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I want them too! They sound great!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:23PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

I have not been in a rural area enough to see the undesirable side of birds, since I have been in Missouri I have seen some beautiful ones, including our beloved cardinal. I think I might sacrifice some berries just to see them. (I might change my mind later.)

Velvet, where in So Ca do you live? I am a transplant here in Missouri from Gardena CA, do you know it? I grew up there. I love your website, I'll have to bookmark it. Maybe you are familiar with the swallows at San Juan Capistrano? They'll be buzzing soon.

But back to the topic, I would be in favor of most anything that decreased the horse fly population. Please post it if you find out what kind it was.

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:27PM
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