Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
San Juan Capistrano’s famous cliff swallows have been taking to the sky to begin their long journey back to their wintering grounds in Argentina, some 6,000 miles south.
Each year around the Day of San Juan, October 23rd, the iconic birds leave the Southern California mission city to go back to Goya, Argentina – a trip that takes about 30 days.
Then, it’s hoped, that as the birds have done for centuries, they will faithfully return to California on St Joseph’s Day, March 19th.
Though San Juan Capistrano is much better known for the swallows’ return in the spring – a time of festivals and celebrations – their fall departure is part of the cycle of life…
and a bond that the two cities share.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have seen the birds’ comings and goings firsthand.
Over the years, a few swallows have even made their way to Patti and her husband Greg’s house to build their mud nests under the eaves. And, when we’re at the mission we always raise a toast to their safe journey.
Swallows and their nests are fully protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
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