Science

Virginia's cliff swallow population booms

Posted July 12

— Virginia's population of cliff swallows is booming.

The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary recently surveyed the small bird's population in coastal Virginia and found it had increased nearly seven-fold since 1995.

The birds spend the winters in South America and come north in the spring to breed. Some of Virginia's bridges have provided an ideal spot for the nests needed by breeding cliff swallows, which are made of mud and look like gourds.

The Benjamin Harrison Bridge over the James River near Hopewell is the most active site, with more than 1,000 nests found there this year.

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