Sunday, March 22, 2009

San Juan Capistrano swallows have a no-return policy?

The Los Angeles Times has an article describing how one of Southern California's most famous legends — the return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County every year on the feast of St Joseph (March 19) — may no longer be true.

Urban sprawl in southern OC, general development across Southern California which has led to fewer migratory birds in general, and refurbishment of the mission itself may all be culprits.


  1. It is. I remember the Swallows Festival (or whatever it's called) being kind of a big deal when I was a kid.

    There still area a lot of the birds coming to the area, but they also find nesting grounds in area homes, freeway underpasses, etc. Back in 1776, the Mission essentially provided the only large structures in the area, and that was true for much of its 200+ year history, but not anymore.

    I hope things change back (I think there were periods where there was low return in past decades), or else no one will get it when we jokingly refer to barfing as "return of the swallows."

  2. Ah, it's called Swallows Day and it includes a local parade.


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