Cliff Swallows under the Chattanooga Market Street Bridge

A row of birds's nests under Market Street Bridge in Coolidge Park
Birds' nests under Market Street Bridge | Photo by NOOGAtoday

Has anyone else noticed all the birds under the Market Street Bridge? If you’ve been to Coolidge Park recently, you may have seen a lot of small birds flying in and out of mud nests built underneath the bridge.

We wanted to know what kind of birds they are and why there are so many of them — specifically under the bridge — so we consulted a local bird expert + checked via a bird identification app and both sources tell us these are most likely cliff swallows.

Cliff swallow fast facts

🐦 They live near bodies of water.

🐦 Their gourd-shaped mud nests can be found on vertical walls.

🐦 These birds are almost always found in large groups.

🐦 They are aerial foragers + eat insects.

🐦 Current colonies average between 100 and 200 nests, with the largest colony reported in Tennessee being 2,500 nests in 1958 Decatur County.

If we’re wrong about the birds under the bridge being cliff swallows, will you let us know?