Every spring a lovely pair of tree swallows moves into a broken down little bird house on our front lawn. Last year it was invaded by some sort of predatory bird. The attack did even more damage to the already decrepit house and being the slum lords we are we did nothing to fix it. The swallows were back this spring and just yesterday my daughter said I should go out and check the house out because she could hear and even see the chicks.
But this morning we discovered this (the windows are for the chicken coop. Pay them no attention),
On the ground are the feathers the little parents collected to insulate their nest.
In the nest are a couple of tiny older eggs (a year, two years old? No bigger than an almond in any case) that never hatched.
And we don't know if the chicks got away or were eaten by whatever tore the floor out from under the house.
Years ago my daughter built a very study bird house from a kit so in short order we're going to get a much taller pole, mount the bird house to it and replace the house of death that now decorates the lawn. Too late for the swallows this year but hopefully they'll find the new pad to their liking next year.