The saying goes birds of a feather flock together, and there are plenty of birds flocking around the Permian Basin.
According to Michael Nikkell, Sibley Nature Center scientist, the Central flu systems takes birds from Canada and Alaska. It even takes birds from Siberia and Russia through the central part of the United States to Central and South America.
“It’s a well-established migratory route that birds have established over eons. Literally thousands and thousands of years. Taken them from nesting frowns to feeding grounds. Back and forth twice a year.”
Nickell says Cliff Swallows are the birds currently nesting under the highway bridges and buildings in West Texas.
“Cliff Swallows are very adaptable to humans. Before humans developed this area, city and towns with bridges and stuff like that, the cliff swallows nested on the edges of the cliffs. We've provided for them artificial vertical spaces so their range has spread,” Nickell said.
The migratory birds are protected both at the state level and federal level.
“If people are taking matters into their own hands, they run the risk of a severe fine. Perhaps even jail time.”
Whether or not you like birds, Nickell says they do humans a very big favor by eating mosquitoes and pests.
“Every creature out there is part of the ecosystem. Nothing, I mean nothing lives in total isolation and so we need things like cliff swallows for a more healthy ecosystem," he said. "They do have a place, they have a purpose and they serve a function."