Five Little Swallows Went Flying One Day

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…

5 Responses to “Five Little Swallows Went Flying One Day”

  1. Vincent

    I’ve a nest of them in the alcove of the front door. I never use it, well almost never, so they are totally undisturbed. But this year there does seem to be more of them that in other years.
    A lovely cheeky photo though.

  2. pamela

    Our birds also had bigger families this year. I am totally in favor of bigger swallow families…..goodbye mosquitoes.

  3. Ed

    Life is so much better when one stops to watch the little things, including the life of a swallow. For some reason, I don’t get birds nesting on buildings here in town like the do around the farm. In fact, I have only seen one nest here in the six plus years I’ve lived here and it was one that blew out of the oak tree out front.

  4. One wonders whether the bird that didn’t return just decided to strike out on his own a little sooner than the rest.

  5. Vincent- What a place for them! My mother has bluebirds near her front door too :)
    Pamela- Interesting, maybe the warmer spring? I couldn’t agree more w/ the mosquito bit.
    Ed- I like that sentence about life… so true. Much easier to see on a farm, or in the country.
    Randall- Good point! It’s been 3-4 days, and there are only a few coming back at times.

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