To operate pendulum correctly with tree swallows
1) WHEN THE PENDULUM NEST BOX SHOULD BE HANG ?
At the end of april (for Quebec regions) if the swallows occupied the nest box the previous season.
In other cases, during the first week of May. If you do it too early, there is a risk that the sparrows
will try to take over. They could succeed if you let them practice.
2) WHERE THE NEST BOX SHOULD BE LOCATED ?
Generally, it can be located almost anywhere as long as it is sheltered from predators. However, it
should be placed at a height that will facilitate any interventions. Whether you decide to place it on
a pole or window sill, make sure it is hand-reach. This way, your success will be enhanced.
3)THE PENDULUM IS A TOOL FOR THE AMATEUR
The pendulum is an efficient tool, and over all, we must learn how to use it. For the swallows,
itís an obstacle which they can to overcome quickly.
Once they succeed, they will definitely be sheltered from sparrows during the whole season and after.
4)ADJUSTMENT OF THE PENDULUM
Once on the arrow, the pendulum is calibrated to greet the tree swallow. However, it is possible
the swallow may need a hand. To this end, the arrow is only a guide.
5) A FEW MINUTES EVERY MORNING
5.1) At the beginning of the season, from the moment swallows are visiting the nest box, it is
recommended to harden the pendulum in order to encourage them to use the nest box. For this, turn the
weight under the pendulum to increase the resistance. In general, this adjustment is done at
the time the tree swallows need to adopt the nest box. Hold back this adjustment while the tree
swallows gather around the nest box.
5.2) When the swallows will have left for the day, simply re-adjust the pendulum by making it as much
sensitive as possible to the sparrows. If the last ones show some determination to occupy the nest box,
we completely reverse the pendulum by shifting the weight. If it is too reversed, it is true to say that
the tree swallows can no longer enter the nest box. In any case, they canít if the sparrows persist in
occupying the nest box. Anyway, the tree swallows are going away for the rest of the day at the beginning
of the season.
6) SUBSEQUENT TO ADOPTION OF THE NEST BOX
The game is won when swallows are busy in the construction of their nest. When you will notice their
skill to cross the pendulum, re-adjust to the point indicated (arrow) on the front of the nest box.
Be alert, watch carefully. It is normal that the swallows make the pendulum topple at times. It must be
sensitive enough to prevent the sparrow from entering.
7) WHEN THERE IS HESITANCY TO ENTER THE NEST BOX
The pendulum is an obstacle for the tree swallows and it might make them hesitant to pass it.
In such a case, remove the pendulum while they adopt the nest box. Put it back in place afterwards.
8) WHEN SWALLOWS ALREADY OCCUPY THE NEST BOX
We can fix a pendulum to a nest box even though the swallows already occupy it. We need to do the following steps:
8.1) After having fixed the pendulum, watch that the latter does not swivel when the swallow gets
caught. (procedure #5)
8.2) The swallow will learn fast how to pass the pendulum. It will succeed in only a few trials. Allow a
few hours until the swallow no longer finds this object strange. Adjust the pendulum as indicated above
8.3) If there are young swallows in the nest box and they are sticking out their heads at the entrance,
then gradually adjust the pendulum for a period of one to two days, so they can familiarized
themselves with the moving pendulum.
ORIENTATION OF THE NEST BOX
The tree swallows look to protect themselves from westerly winds. If your nest box is exposed to
strong winds, it would be prudent to position the nest entrance eastwards. At all times, avoid the midday
It is very important to leave the pendulum in operation until the young ones leave the nest,
otherwise, they would be at the mercy of predators.