Saskatchewan

You put the bird in the coconut: Sask. couple improvises new homes for swallows

A Saskatchewan couple has turned a farmyard into an island paradise for tiny swallows.

'They moved in right away. We were surprised,' says Marjorie Cutaran near Grenfell, Sask.

Marjorie Cutaran took leftover coconut shells from her cooking to make nests. (Marjorie Cutaran)

A Saskatchewan couple has turned a farmyard into an island paradise for tiny swallows.

Marjorie Cutaran and her fiance Adam Macfie live north of Grenfell, Sask., about 20 minutes past the Qu'Appelle Valley.

Lots of birds come to visit their place, including the American goldfinch, rose-breasted grosbeak and swallows.

​The Rose-breasted grosbeak is one of her frequent guests. (Marjorie Cutaran)

Last year, the tiny birds made a nest in the yard.

One day, when it rained, the nest fell to the ground.

"I was so upset because they were already grown," said Cutaran.

When a swallow's nest fell down in her yard, Marjorie Cutaran came up with a creative solution: she made new nests using coconut shells. (Marjorie Cutaran)

That's when she decided the couple should make a creative home for the birds to live in.

Each week, Cutaran makes a coconut curry using a full coconut.

Using leftover coconut shells as the base, the couple improvised with some scrap metal to screw the shells into the wall where the nests were originally.

Using scrap metal, Cutaran and her fiancée attach the nests to the buildings on their property. (Marjorie Cutaran)

"After two days, they moved in right away," she said. "We were surprised."

This "accidental discovery" turned into a success for the couple and Adam built other "nests" for his parent's yard.

Cutaran said they are hoping to put up more in their own yard this year.

They also put up a bird feeder in the front yard and frequently take photographs of the different types.

"With all those colourful birds that you can see, it's like you are in a zoo," said Cutaran, who moved to Canada from the Philippines two years ago.

Her best photography advice? A good shot is worth the wait.

"When it comes to taking pictures, you don't have any problem, you just have to be patient."

Cutaran said bird photography has become a pastime. Pictured: American gold finch. (Marjorie Cutaran)

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend

now