Welcome Swallows

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Subject: Welcome Swallows
From: "Judie Peet" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 10:40:00 +1100
Gidday All,
Re the welcome Welcome Swallow:
I have an old book - "The Useful Birds of Southern Australia" by Robert Hall, pub 1907 by T C Lothian (Melbourne and Sydney) .
In this book the bird is called House-Swallow, with the alternate common name of Welcome Swallow in brackets. The scientific name is the same... the specific name, neoxena,  means neos=new/zenos=strange.
 (I like that!)
Mr Hall talks about the seasonal importance of returning swallows because they are insectivores, and tells a tale about a migrating flock diverting through a local school... he goes on to say, "...Agriculturists ever welcome the House-Swallow as one of their best friends, and it was as well for those dwelling in this wheat-growing district that the flock kept the even tenor of its way."
I'm wondering if the "welcome" part of their common name could have developed from such feelings?
Regards, Judie Peet
(The only thing certain about bird watching is that nothing's certain!)
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