Leaving the nest: Moore Hall home to more than students

(Archive photo by Jessica Robbins | Collegian Media Group)

As the 2020 fall semester begins with plenty of new twists for students to navigate, Moore Hall residents found an unusual resident waiting for them when they returned to campus.

Barn swallows made a nest above the keycard lock to the front entrance. The nest contains a mother and a few babies, and will not be moving any time soon.

The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 protects the barn swallow family.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, people can’t kill, capture, sell or transport bird species included in the act without authorization from the department.

The act also prohibits staff and students from relocating the nest, so they are left to deal with it until they relocate themselves.

The residents of Moore Hall often find themselves face to face with the mother of the nest.

“Every time you open the [front] door, the mom flies really close,” Robyn Logan, freshman in Elementary Education, said. “She doesn’t dive bomb you, but it is an uncomfortable amount of closeness.”

The swallows’ nest has been located at Moore Hall since Logan arrived on campus Aug. 11. To date, Logan has yet to see or hear of anyone getting directly attacked by the barn swallows.

The birds do not limit themselves to the front door of Moore Hall, either.

“The swallows always perch on the ninth-floor windowsills, specifically on the wing opposite me,” Logan said. “It’s always at two in the afternoon. Sometimes they will hang on to the mesh on our window.”

Jheovany Hernandez, junior in Kinesiology, works at the front desk of Moore Hall as a community assistant. Most days, Hernandez watches students attempt to swipe their I.D. cards and stare at the nest at the same time. Other times, crowds of students will pack themselves near the entrance to look at the swallows’ nest.

“The swallows seem to grab a lot of attention, especially during move-in,” Hernandez said. “The swallows chirped a lot during move-in. My girlfriend even stopped to take a picture of them because she thought they were cute.”

Hernandez believes the swallows chose the location at Moore to nest because the building was empty during the campus shutdown.

The swallows’ nest will remain near the front door of Moore Hall until the birds leave on their own.