The Critters of Monte Vista

Grace Wensley

Take a look around. What do you see? What do you hear? Geese flying overhead? Seagulls and crows squawking? Swallows building nests? Squirrels stealing trash? Ducks waddling around?

Here at Monte Vista there is an abundance of critters who call our campus their home.

The geese like to hang out at the park, then migrate the lengthy distance down to Los Cerros. The garbage bins serve as the ground squirrels favorite place to grab a bite to eat. The seagulls find it fun to circle around the campus, and aim their droppings at student’s heads. Unfortunately they are quite accurate.

Sophomore Morgan Dowling has personal experience this issue.

“When you get pooped on by a bird at school it sort of ruins your whole day,” said Dowling.

Moving on to the musicians of the bunch:the crows. They don’t have much variety in the genre that they sing, it’s mostly just “the squawk”.

Recently, a pair of ducks have decided to take afternoon strolls exploring the campus, then later return back to the pond.

Lastly, there is the messy construction crew. For years the mud swallows have been gathering mud, grass, hair, and feathers to build their luxurious, high rise homes, with great views.

The issue with their homes is that directly below their nests, many students sit against the buildings at lunch. So when the birds have to relieve themselves, an unhealthy eating environment is created.

The administration has, and continues to try to urge the swallows to find a new building site, but there are regulations that prohibit this.

Assistant Principal, Evan Powell, explains how there is a small window in which the school can legally spray down the swallows nests.

“There is a certain time period where we can take down the nests as long as the circle[opening] hasn’t formed,” Powell said. “We do our best to hose them off or scrap them down during the time period, which is in the springtime.”

The school has tried to block the crevice, in between the wall and roofs of the building, where the bird build the their nests, by putting up nets, but the swallows are creative engineers. Now they just build their homes right on the nets like they aren’t even there.

So for the time being, the swallows are here to stay. Along with the seagulls, crows, squirrels, ducks and geese. And we are just guests, from the eight to three visiting hours, at this animal sanctuary.