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Cliff Swallow Feeding Chick, Lagoon Trail, Del Mar, California

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Please send hope and good wishes to the cliff swallow chicks. They are dying again this year. Last year we lost about half of them, probably because there weren't enough insects to feed them. (I've been doing trail patrol for 12 years, and the only other time chicks died was when the mud nests fell apart one year.) I saw seven dead chicks under the 55 nests over the trail Tuesday, but there are still lots of chicks in the nests and the parents seemed to be arriving regularly with breakfast. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the insects have shown up now. I moved the dead chicks so I'll know if there are more tomorrow.
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Thanks, editrix. I'm glad you like them.


I recognize and validate the sadness, and I also appreciate your taking time to notice and report the casualties. Your photos and puzzles are a a beauty in the world.


All the good wishes in the world may not help. I found five more dead chicks early this morning, one tiny featherless pink blob and four older ones. I may quit walking there. It's just too sad and there is nothing I can do about it. I have found two dead brown pelicans and a dead yellow-crowned night heron this past week. A firefighter walked across the street at the end of the Lagoon Trail a few days ago to tell me they had found two dead female mallards in their parking lot. Dead of unknown causes, not hit by cars. I told the ranger, but didn't even get the courtesy of a reply. The ranger I liked so well quit last month and I miss her more every time I'm out there.


Such beautiful birds!!
All my good wishes are for the chicks, and the parents :)

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