These swallows are welcome to make their nests in shops, homes and just about anywhere in this part of the Himalayas. Their Hindi name translates as “birds of fortune”, and it’s considered good luck to have them choose your place for a nest. I have one on my balcony, though I haven’t seen the chicks yet. That nest is different, with a long tunnel entrance, rather like an igloo. This nest is attached to some electrical fixture in the local dry-goods store. One thing that is really surprising to me is that, even though they are found in shops, homes and even restaurants, they never ┬áseem to leave their ‘calling cards’ inside. The shops and restaurants are clean, and so is my porch, and I’ve never had to clean up after them at all. Swallows are a delight to watch as they are exceptionally fast and agile birds, adept at scooping up insects on the fly.


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