Sunday, July 20, 2008

Barn Swallow

  Cliff, Tree, Bank, Cave, Rough-Winged, and Tree Swallows...don't even get started on the Swifts and Martins!

  This is a Barn Swallow and nest.  Four Youngsters and two adults coming and going under a porch.   This is the fourth year of this nest- count the different colors of mud layers.  Voracious bug-eating birds, though they do leave a mess under the nesting sites.  Put up with it, because they migrate and are as Federally protected as an FBI agent.

  I promise, I didn't even talk to them.

  The Redhead is house sitting for a client and these guys have set up home under the front porch.  I went out to play Eliot Porter.  The flash is fast but not fast enough to quite freeze mom in flight.

  I assume the youngsters return to nest near where they were born so this porch may fill up.  At Ft. Wolters, near Mineral Wells,Texas the army rifle ranges have hundreds of yards of Cliff Swallow gourd-shaped mud nests lining an overhang along the old concrete berm wall.  When you walk behind the wall the swallows unload from the nests in front of you and reload behind in a cloud of swirling birds.

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