A happy marriage between swallows & infrastructure | WWF India

It’s all about finding a way…



In the midst of stories of wildlife getting affected by manmade structures, the account that I have to give offers one some joy. The story is about how a flight of little swallows made a bridge to their home. The streak-throated swallow, also called the Indian cliff swallow, is a pretty little bird with brown wings, rump and tail and a blackish-blue mantle. When sunlight caresses its dazzling crown, a deep chestnut brown in shade, one is reminded of the ancient folklore that believed swallows to have brought the gift of fire to the earth from the Gods.

Natives of South Asia, they are swift in their flight, and usually build their nests with mud in caves and cliffs. The nests in a swallow colony can number in hundreds. A swallow colony is what I beheld whilst driving to a field site. Amused, I further realized that this particular swallow colony was built on the underside of a bridge. It seemed as if there were thousands of nests hanging from the bridge like a topsy-turvy high rise apartment complex. It was incredible to see how these tiny birds had cleverly found a way to adapt to a change in the environment that could have proved destructive to their lives. The beauty and feeling of deep contentment that a harmonious existence paves way for are unparalleled.

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