Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TREE SWALLOWS Raising Younguns

      These TREE SWALLOWS reside in a Blue Bird box. Tree swallows are famous for nesting in those boxes. Sometimes, when they first start checking out the boxes as potential homes in the spring, their brilliant blue-black feathers dupe the hopeful into thinking that they see an Eastern Bluebird.They are not a disappointment, though.
     Tree Swallows are aggressively protective of their nests and will dive bomb approaching threats. This includes cats, raccoons, and in this case, me. An Apricot tree provided enough cover to get these photos. I had to hold very still as any movement riled up the birds. The mosquitoes were awful which made that torturous as I had to let them bite me.
     The Barn swallows I posted earlier feed their young partially digested pellets of insects which they regurgitate into their youngster's throats. Tree swallows differ in that they feed the young whole insects. You can see this in the last photo.
     I saw at least two chicks in the box. There were probably more. They usually have 4-6. Males and females both take care of the chicks. Like the Barn swallows, they sometimes nest twice a year. The chicks in these photos are just about to be thrown out of the house. As my father used to say when we left home, "Write when you get work!"


  1. Love how you capture the action! Your lucky the Warbler didn't lay an egg in the cup! Cute photos!
    HG and P

  2. Congrats on the successful nesting!

    We had one nest fail and the other two had some mortality, but most fledged.

  3. HIya, I love your photos & commentaries!! thanx for sending me your blog & keep up the good work. amazing how wildlife can keep us occupied for so many happy hours. the creatures help to brighten a dreary summer (weather-wise).
    Best, Carol

  4. Some people just get lucky ;) Great photos and a most informative piece.


  5. Excellent behavioral shots. You captured the wing action wonderfully. And of course, the feeding behavior is what its all about! Good work!

  6. I love your ability to "freeze" the movement of the wings. Nice pictures.