All but three of my swallows have gone

All but three of my swallows have gone and I’m concerned for the last three that are left.
Does anyone think they will leave on their own or perhaps will they stay.  There was a swallow in S.England that survived the winter in England last year. I’m North East and on a very exposed cliff top site.   Christine

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Hi, Christine,

I think it is very unlikely the swallows will survive.

The parent swallows must have known they would not survive the flight.  Swallows have more than one brood and these swallows could  have been from the last brood.

 

One thought on “All but three of my swallows have gone

  1. garth lowe

    The young swallows will move south as directed by the genetic chip in their brain, but only a small number of the total get to S. Africa and back. It only needs two to survive to replace their parents should they fail to get back.
    It does take them two months to do the whole journey as they feed en-route and might stay in one place for a few days if the weather is not suitable to continue south, so late hatched birds can build up their strength on the way.
    Evidence shows that when young swallows return next spring they do not go back to nest where they were hatched but could be in the locality. This then avoids genetic problems. I have had a good season in West Worcestershire with no very late broods to worry about.

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