Beau June 12th, 2010
How many little barn swallows can you fit in the same nest? In previous years I’ve only seen three or four, and thought this year was the same until another one popped up this week. This picture was taken the day before they left the nest. What a crew!
One of them flew off early in the morning when I didn’t see it, but I was able to watch the other birds make their first flights while painting the garage door. The adult birds would land just off the nest with some type of insect treat, tempting them to come farther, and then make repeated short flights past the nest. Finally a young barn swallow would leap off and begin flapping its wings, not nearly as gracefully as the adults.
It would usually make it to a nearby tree to rest for a few minutes and then fly again- this time much better. I was amazed that within a couple of hours all but one of the birds had left the nest and were zooming around with incredible speed and vigor. Finally that last one disappeared as well.
Not all of them returned by the next day however. For the first week or so, the young birds and adults return to roost at the nest site. Only four have come back…