↑ Top   Bottom ↓

February 1st, 2015

What is a Swoop Path?

What is a Swoop-Path?

A swoop-path is a flight pattern that consists of a short flying distance from a bird house to the ground, and then back again. It's established from the repetitive back-and-forth action of a motherbird when she flys from a bird house to the ground, and then back up to the bird house again. Swoop-paths are used by many species of birds.

Bird houses give birds the advantage of finding food easier. Why? Birdhouses are typically mounted below 10' feet above the ground, giving a motherbird an unobstructed view of the ground surface. This allows the motherbird a consistent way of using a swoop-path to find food and nesting materials.

A motherbird will use a swoop-path to perform several actions:

  • Searching for nest-building materials - Birds use swoop-paths to build their nests in birdhouses. Birdhouses give birds a good view of the ground, allowing them to easily locate and transport pine needles, grass, weeds and other nest-building materials from the ground up to the birdhouse.
  • Searching for food - Birds use swoop-paths to look and transport food from the ground and then up to the birdhouse. Birds look for food from a perch or roof of a birdhouse and swoop down to the ground in search of seeds, insects, and other organic material. When they find food, they fly back up to the birdhouse to feed their offspring.
  • Defecation - While birds are in a swoop-path, they discharge their feces on the ground surface, or while in flight.

Bluebirds, house wrens, chickadees, tree swallows and house sparrows are a few examples of birds that might use a swoop-path. Even owls will fly in a swoop pattern to catch small prey and take back to their owl-house.

Sometimes the male bird, or fatherbird, will perform the same functions. There are a number of bird species where the fatherbird will use a swoop-path for the same reasons, and also to aid the motherbird in raising their young.

What do birds eat in a swoop-path?

Birds eat a multitude of foods in a swoop-path. Food sources include seeds, nuts, plants, blossoms, fruits, bugs, larva, worms, small animals, scraps, and garbage.

Food sources in a swoop-path

How to create a swoop-path..

It's easy to create a swoop-path for birds. It only involves mounting a birdhouse on a pole about 5'-10' feet above the ground. Place it near a tree or brush, but not too close to obstacles that might hinder the flight path.

After a while, a mother-bird might find your new birdhouse and start using it to fly back and forth to look for food and nest-building materials. Birds will also defecate on the ground, causing it to become moist and fertile.

Birdhouse designs that work well in a swoop-path are the following...

  • open-face platforms that allow birds to easily land and take off from a ledge. Platforms also allow for a wide angle of visibility.
  • birdhouses with horizontal perch systems that allow easy take-offs and landings.

Next, read about What's the difference between a nestbox and a birdhouse?»


Please feel free to send us your questions, comments and feedback. Fill out a short form and send us your message.

Contact Us »


All orders ship out from our workshop in 1-2 days. Read more about our shipping policy here»

Read about shipping..

Shipping Policy »


Take some time to browse our photo galleries.

View »


Sign up for our birdhouse newsletter and receive special discounts and offers.

Sign Up »


Looking for a simple feeder? We have a few you might like.

View »


Birdhouse Benefits

Birdhouse Benefits

A book for kids and adults. In the book you'll find colorful pictures and informative content about birdhouses and their benefits to our environment.

Softback cover
147 pages

Available on Amazon »

Buy Now »

← Home   Back to top ↑



☎ (575) 305-6707 Privacy|About|Sitemap