Capistrano Swallows Shun Church for Country Club

Famous California birds move upmarket
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2010 4:00 AM CDT
Capistrano Swallows Shun Church for Country Club
The Mission San Juan Capistrano has provided a home for migrating cliff swallows for many years.   (?the sun hums)

The famous swallows of Capistrano have flown straight past Capistrano this year to an upscale country club. The birds, who have migrated from Argentina to nest at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano church in southern California for decades, have received a warm welcome at the 700-acre Vellano Country Club, the Orange County Register reports.

A spokesman for the Mission says urbanization means the church no longer offers the best place in the area for the birds to build their nests, though officials are working on ways to lure the swallows back for the annual Return of the Swallows celebration. The country club however, aims to welcome the swallows back themselves next spring. "We have everything they need right here at the clubhouse," the club's director says. "Why would they go anywhere else?" (More California stories.)

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