Thursday, July 4, 2019

Barn Swallows

Three small barn swallows perched on top of snowblower cover

This was the first flight of the five nestling barn swallows hatched and raised in the barn. Each year one or two pairs of barn swallows returns to the barn. Last year, one pair stayed and had a second brood. The parents are up and eager to be out of the barn at first light and begin collecting insects for their nestlings. They remain out until twilight, still collecting insects.
 The aerobatics of these birds is remarkable--they maneuver to catch insects in flight, and work the interior of the barn like litlle helicopters, hovering and moving left and right to position themselves in the nest, which has remained the same for several years in one of several rafters.
 Although these birds looked exhausted after their first flight, they will be performing their own acrobatics within days, and following their parents closely "in training." All too soon, both parents and nestling will move out of the barn and onto to who knows where. It is one of the summer's landmarks, when the barn swallows leave...