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In His Own Words: TR Observes Barn Swallows

Oct 07, 2014

barn swallows

Notes on Natural History, 1874-1875, page 16. From the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site.

A young Theodore Roosevelt observes a migrating flock of barn swallows in his Notes on Natural History.

“On the fourth of September I witnessed at Barrytown a great assemblage of the barn swallow for the purpose of migrating. The spot chosen was a huge oak, right by our house, and round this many hundreds of swallows were assembled, flying rapidly among the branches and often alighting on them. They kept up an incessant twittering. Large numbers flew into the house, and there became confused, alighting on the bird (?) curtains, and even sometimes on the clothes of the priopriotors [sic], on whose premises they thus uncerimoniously [sic] intruded. I captured about seventy swallows during the course of the day, and none of them made the least effort to escape. Except one who fell a victim to a cat they were none of them in the least damaged, although they banged up against walls and windows in the most reckless manner. At the close of the day they all flew off southward, and for the remainder of the season I did not see a single swallow on the place.”

Posted by Pamela Pierce on Oct 07, 2014 in History  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)  |  Share this post

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