Swallows take flight


Outside and above the front door of our cabin is a roof beam, protected from rain and wind by translucent porch roofing–a perfect spot to set up housekeeping… especially if you’re a barn swallow. In mid-May of this year, two adult swallows showed up and began the process of renovating and settling into the mud nest.

Yesterday morning at about 6:30 I heard a bit of a commotion out there, and looked out the window. After weeks of crowded nest life, one of the chicks had made the leap, and was clinging precariously to a beam below. Its mother was swooping and fluttering nearby. She eventually convinced the chick to flutter over to the stair rail.

I sneaked out the door and set a chair nearby to sketch the fledgie. To my delight, the three remaining nestlings came out within a half an hour–each one encouraged by the parents, then “herded” to perch on the rail or on a rope hanging over the porch. I felt rather honored to be tolerated so close, sketching busily in the midst of this momentous occasion…

2 thoughts on “Swallows take flight

  • Nice post! I spent the better part of a day watching the Tree Swallows that nested on our deck hoping to catch one leaving the nest, but didn’t manage it. I haven’t posted any pictures/video from that yet, but by mid-day the following day, the nest was empty. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment! The barn swallow brood stayed around the area for several days afterward, coming back under the porch roof to roost each night. The adults (or perhaps another pair?) have been re-visiting the nest site in recent days, often while other swallows are nearby; they perch and sing. Last year, the pair that nested here constructed a second nest after the chicks fledged, though they did not use it until this year. Wonder if they’ll do something similar this time? They’re running out of beam space for new nests!

      Too bad you missed the first flight of your tree swallows–I think it would be harder to catch that moment because of the nest box…

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