Posts Tagged ‘Swallows’

Swallows’ Day Poster

 Inerested in purchasing a signed copy of the poster, please contact by e-mail, monique  The illustration/drawing is on the back cover of the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society’s new book, “Swallows Legend and Facts,” by Don Tryon.

Artist Biography

"Garden Jewel"

"Jewel of Nature"


"Pastel Cat"

"Pastel Cat"


An accomplished artist, author and public speaker, Monique Rea received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Laguna College of Art and Design.  Monique resides in San Juan Capistrano, California with her husband, two cats and a Mustang horse.



She has authored and illustrated  two children’s books, “The Original Story of Toulouse the Moose and His Friends.”  Her second children’s storybook, “Toulouse the Moose and the Mystery Guests. ”  Both are available on Amazon and . Monique’s artwork of a Cliff Swallow was on the video jacket of Huel Howser’s “Swallows of Mission San Juan Capistrano.”   The Capistrano Dispatch newspaper features her comic strip “The Adventures of Toulouse the Moose.”   She was honored with being nominated Woman of the Year of San Juan Capistrano 2011-2012.

Monique’s love of nature and whimsy can be found in her artwork, primarily painting, drawing, jewelry and writing.  She expresses her love of animals and appreciation of their special place on earth through her art. Her hummingbird & swallow artwork is inspired through her dedicated work as a hummingbird & swallow rescuer.

Discover, Listen & Dream

Monique F. Rea  




Swallows – 8 species in 6 genera

Bahama, Bank, Barn, Cave, Cliff, Northern Rough-winged, Tree,

Violet Green

Cliff – buff & rust rump w/drk rust brown throat, wht spotted forehead

Northern-Rough-winged – grayish brown, light under side

The two most prevalent in San Juan Capistrano are the Cliff and Northern Rough-winged.


Past 100 to 150 years the swallows have extended their range across the North America as far as Alaska to the north and to the Eastern coast in part due to the development of bridges and buildings.  They provide nesting sites.

In 1776 in Utah a Spaniard, Silvestre Velez de Escalante observed the Cliff Swallow.  The Cliff Swallow was one of the first North American birds to be described.

Spring Migration:  moving North from South America.  First arrive in Southern California early February.  Recorded on February 24, 1994 a continuous flock of swallows of 150 birds/min.

Fall Migration: generally peak time is in August and September back to So. America.  There is little information of the migratory behavior.

Food:  flying insects

Cliff Swallows prefer nesting in colonies but can have a single nest sight.  Their tail is squared off compared to a Barn Swallow who has a distinctive forked tail (refer to my illustrations on Swallows).  Numbers can range from 200-400 nests and a site in Nebraska recorded 3700.   Courtship occurs soon after arrival and they visit nest sites future and/or existing.  Once paired up begin next building. Both male and female help to build the mud gourd shaped nest.  They gather mud in their bills along streams or new housing tracks.

A pair can bring 44 mud pellets in a 30 min period. Approx. 7 days to build a complete nest.

Number of Eggs 4-5,   incubation 14 –16 days.  Both parents tend to eggs and young.

The Cliff Swallow has the distinctive gourd shaped nest made of hundreds of mud pellets.

Cliff Swallows (five)

"Swallows Perched"
“Swallows Perched”

 Monique F. Rea Copyright 2010               

Scratch board and ink medium.  Subjects were from my photo of  Ciff Swallows that were being rehabbed. 

I have posted a tribute to a Cliff Swallow under the category; Interesting Bird Notes –  “Swallows” or “Tribute to Swallows”