News and Views from Dave Wilson

A Nest Full of Barn Swallows

by on Jun.25, 2010, under Photography

The Barn Swallow nest in our garage is creaking from the weight of this summer’s new brood. I strongly suspect they will be taking flight some time in the next few days since they’ve definitely outgrown the available space!

This year’s experience with the swallows has been rather confusing. A pair arrived pretty early and hatched a brood of 3 chicks. Shortly thereafter, the male disappeared but the female kept feeding the young. Unfortunately one fell out the nest very early and didn’t survive and a second broke a wing presumably when trying to take flight for the first time. Around this time, however, another pair of swallows appears and were extremely agitated to find the next occupied.

We’re not sure, obviously, but our guess is that this as the original pair that build the nest and the first pair this year were interlopers. Regardless, the remaining check from the first brood took flight and the second pair took up residence and raised this fine group of chicks.

Some people complain about the mess a swallow’s nest generates and, yes, they do create quite a pile of guano to deal with but I consider that a minor inconvenience compared to the joy of watching these master aviators up close and the excitement of seeing the chicks grow up and take their initial flights.

My fingers are crossed for these guys this week!

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