Shutterbug: Learning to Fly

| 6/17/2010 12:26:45 PM

Tags: Birdwatching, Swallows, Bird photography,

A photo of SandyOne of my favorite annual events is the return of our swallows each year.

They have made their nests on our porch for years. There is a nest in each corner of our wrap-around front porch, they have now spread to the back porch and the tractor barn as well.

Swallows in the nest

Swallow on the windchimesMy favorite nest is the one right by our front entrance, the generations of swallows who have filled it are not afraid of us and the babies like to watch our comings and goings. As they begin to fly, they like to swing on our wind chimes. This year we have noticed that the butterflies like to chase the little swallows as they dip and dive through the air. I love their chatter outside our windows and their patterned flights over all the pastures and barns.

The swallows stay all Summer helping with insect control and then, just as they appear overnight, they disappear one morning. We will wake up and they are gone and I'm sad for a day or two, but I know in my heart that they will make their way back again next year. Swallows will always be welcomed guests here at Feed me Farms. In fact, we will always keep the porch light on for them.

6/17/2010 8:18:33 PM

Love this picture!

Nebraska Dave
6/17/2010 3:01:38 PM

Sandy, I used to think that we never had barn swallows on my farm days, but now that I see a nest I think those are what Dad called Mud Wrens. Mostly we had pigeons that decorated up the barn and other buildings. As I remember the Mud Wren/Barn Swallows were very protective of their young and would dive bomb me if I got too close to the nests. They could fly really fast and swoop up, down, and around buildings with incredible speed and accuracy. I was always captivated by their aerial acrobatics. I think they were the ones that would dog the hawk even though the hawk was 10 times bigger. They would literally dive and harass the flying hawk in the area until it finally moved away from the nesting area. I always thought that was a terrifically brave gesture to put their life in danger for the sake of the young. I don’t have any swallows here on the urban ranch, just an assortment of city birds. I hope that you get to enjoy many for generations of barn swallows.

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