TREE SWALLOW PAGE

This is the third year tree swallows have nested in my bluebird boxes.  This page documents two pairs in 2007, beginning May 12 with the couple in the front yard.

  
They "do it" on the utility wires.  The male's bubbly song turns to a clicking twitter when in the act of mating.  They alternated sex with house building, and between May 20 and 28 laid 3 eggs.

     
When trying to fit a wide load, the birds often have to make several attempts.  Although it is annoying to them, it is quite funny to watch.


I think she made it this time.  The pair sitting on the pole and house are in the "back 40" - way in back.  They are getting used to me now.  I was picking driveway rocks out of the lawn (a spring ritual thanks to the snow plow) near the house in front, and one watched me from her hole.  I imagined little question marks popping around her head.  "What is she doing with those rocks?  Does she eat them?  Does she make a house with them?  What?"  I also had a radio playing some Latin-style music, so maybe they were reminded of their winter abode, which may well have been as far as Central America.

July 23, 2007 - Because summer is a busy time for me, with my art/photography business and large yard and garden to keep up, I don't get to "do" birds as much.  I did check inside the two boxes occasionally, poking my hand in to feel for eggs or babies, and twice the parent was inside the box protecting the babies and didn't budge when I touched her. However, as the babies got older, I tried to get a picture and six swallows began to circle me.  One of the parents began to dive bomb me, and any time I went near the two boxes after that I got dive bombed.  It hurt my feelings, it really did.  So I left them alone, and by July 2 the first babies had fledged - five weeks after incubation began.  The family in the back box left about a week later.  I haven't seen them since.