FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If you’ve been outside at Promenade Park, the amount of nests under the Harrison Street bridge over the Saint Marys River may have startled you. Dozens of nests can be seen and look like wasps have taken over. Instead, cliff swallows have made the bridge home.
The crafty birds make a home out of mud that is almost identical to a wasps nest. These mud nests can be found throughout the city under other bridges and buildings. Alli Dickey, the special events coordinator for Riverfront Fort Wayne says, “They are actually all over the United States and the midwest. They actually aren’t native to this area but came in because we have such a good habitat for them, but now you can find them a lot around the city.
Cliff swallow birds can be identified pretty quickly by their swift flying patterns. They also fly vertically into these mud nests. Dickey says, “They’ll swoop down from their nest, they can turn really quickly in the air, like on a dime so you can see them do crazy patterns to try and catch bugs. It’s also really cool to watch them from the bridge looking down on them and you can see them do those quick turns a lot easier.”
The best time to watch them work is in the morning or evening when they are having a feast on the bugs that fly over the water. If anyone is interested on finding out more on these birds and to see them in action, the third Thursday of every month, the city hosts a birdwatching class that anyone can join.