Monday, June 18, 2012
This awkwardly situated - but very much alive - barn swallow is probably one of many forced out of their crowded nests early by the weekend's high heat. They are not yet competent flyers, but they can make short hops from place to place. The parents find and feed them, cueing in on the white "grin patch" still very evident on this bird.
We have at least 50 nests on and around the house, all with hungry youngsters. We watch the parents shuttle back and forth with everything from mosquitos to grasshoppers and picture a steady, substantial stream of protein moving to and - as is quite obvious everywhere! - through the young birds. This crop of barn swallow babies is just the first of several; most parents will hatch two more rounds of young this year, and sometimes three.
*for Sara, with apologies to everyone else.