Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Birds - Tree Swallows

I wasn't familiar with Tree Swallows until I started visiting Daniel Webster a MA Audubon sanctuary in Marshfield, MA.  Barn Swallows I knew, with their orange fronts and blue black backs they were a familiar sight as they had a colony at the Boat House on Greenwich Point.  But the hansom blue, black and white tree swallows I don't recall seeing prior to Daniel Webster. There they are a constant during spring and summer, flying over the fields and Panne catching insects on the wing. By fall they are gone heading off to their wintering areas.

Above is a Tree Swallow that I photographed at Daniel Webster. It was breeding season, in fact I had just seen a pair mating at one of the bird houses, and this bird was far more interested in its own affairs than it was in me even when I was just a few feet away.

Tree Swallows are cavity nesters, so bird houses are just what they love. At Borderland State Park near the old White Farm house bird houses are incorporated into the fencing. Tree Swallows usually are the occupants. I can see where in a time before pesticides Tree Swallows would have been valuable neighbors.

Down in the field at Attleboro Springs, MA Audubon they have a scattering of bird houses around the edges of the field. Earlier this year I photographed this tree swallow poking its head out of one of the boxes. Obviously a pair had taken up residence.

 Yesterday I was back down in Attleboro, checking out the field for butterflies, and noticed a lot of activity around the bird house.

 Parents were being kept busy bringing food to the young ones inside the house.  The parent was really shoving it down the throat of this young bird.

Another view of young birds being fed. From the look of them, I would say they are almost old enough to be out of the nest box, learning to fly and catch their own bugs.

That is it for today, for more information about Tree Swallows click on the link attached to the first mention of their name in the first paragraph. Per usual comments are welcome.