Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Home to Roost

Notice anything interesting about this picture? At first glance, it looks like a couple of ordinary windows on an run-of-the-mill Mexican building. It was located on the same street as our hotel in Barra de Navidad, just a few doors away. An average building, on an average street in an average Mexican town. Nothing special.

But look closer and you might notice something a little out of the ordinary....


Now you see them! Perched along the top of the ironwork burglar-proofing is a row of barn swallows. Every night during our stay, as dusk settled, these wee birds came to roost at this same spot.

From my sketchbook

The attraction of these particular windows, on this particular building was known only to the birds themselves. Their feathers looked a bit rough, so I suspect they were young, recently fledged birds and given there were mud nests higher up on the building, perhaps they were "teenagers" reluctant to leave home but too big to fit back into their nests (purely speculation on my part).

Some evenings there wasn't room for one more bird to squeeze in. Each bird maintained a personal space of a couple of inches between themselves and their neighbours, and they would peck at any incoming birds, defending this precious space quite ferociously! Other evenings, fewer of the birds would choose this particular roost and there would be abundant space for all. But each evening, as we ventured out into the town and walked past this window, we would look for this charming row of birds.

Sometimes the smallest, most insignificant things can add up to something extradordinary.

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