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Swallows, Tourists Came Back

March 19, 1987|Associated Press

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The swallows--and tourists--returned to Mission San Juan Capistrano today, the birds for their 211th year. The tiny birds were outnumbered more than 20 to 1 by tourists, pigeons and sea gulls.

One hundred fork-tailed cliff swallows returned here at 8:26 a.m. on the Feast of St. Joseph and the last day of winter, prompting 91-year-old bell-ringer Paul Arbiso to set his mission carillon thudding. The thousands of tourists saw only six swallows--94 of the birds slipped past them and into the private grounds of the Spanish-built mission.

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