Lots of birds are starting to nest right now, and if you’re a little late to the game putting up a nest box, you may have missed your opportunity to provide a house for some birds. But if you are in Canada or the northern US, and act now, you’re right on time for Barn Swallows! Everybody’s favorite swallow, these small, beautiful indigo and rusty chatterboxes arriving from Central America will brighten your summer yard, and help control insects. Plus, you’ll be doing barn swallows a huge favor because throughout a great portion of the US and especially Canada, they are in decline. Barn swallows prefer open grassland areas, but they are fairly adaptable and can be found along the shores as well as in cities. Having mud nearby is important because mud is a major component of their nests. To house Barn Swallows, you have two options. You can build a wooden nest box, and you can find the plans here; or, you can make your own nest cup which is fairly simple to do and a great project to do with the kids. Once it’s up, and if you have Barn Swallows in the area, you may find yourself with a beautiful mud nest and chicks with huge eyes peering down at you in summer!