We have been trying unsuccessfully for the last two years to attract tree swallows to the bird houses in our yard. Although the holes are the right size for swallows and the houses are located at the right height above the ground, the swallows have not nested in them. Several pairs of swallows even visited our yard this spring and showed interest in the bird houses, but (so far) they have not nested in them.
At least I did manage to get this photo of a swallow perched on the roof of one of the bird houses. I love the swallow’s pose, even though the direction of the light was not ideal:
In another part of our yard, I watched as two swallows took turns checking out a different bird house. First one swallow perched on the roost, peering into the house and chattering back and forth with its mate who waited on the railing of our deck. “What do you think?” “It’s nice and clean inside, but I still think I liked the house down the street better.” “Let me look now.” The swallow on the house flew up and the one on the railing landed on the roof of the bird house. “I’ll check the roof for leaks…. Everything looks good here, but I’m still not sure about it.” “I agree. Let’s check out some of the others.” They both flew away.
In the end, they must have decided against all of the bird houses in our yard, because all remain empty.
Maybe next year the swallows will return and reconsider. For now, at least I have the photos.