Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Baby Barn Swallow

We have both barn swallows and tree swallows that come to nest each spring.  The barn swallows build a mud nest under our raised deck.  The tree swallows nest in hanging plastic "gourds" we have.  See them here:

The barn swallows sometimes have two broods of young, and yesterday they fledged from the nest and were in the yard.
Wanting to get some good photos of the new baby, I edged closer.  She didn't fly away!  I put my finger under her chest so she'd hop on.  

After photographing her for a few minutes, I gently put her back in the tree for her parents to take care of (they were hovering nearby).  Pretty Cool!

Barn Swallow Facts:
Glistening cobalt blue above and tawny below, Barn Swallows dart gracefully over fields, barnyards, and open water in search of flying insect prey. Look for the long, deeply forked tail that streams out behind this agile flyer and sets it apart from all other North American swallows. Barn Swallows often cruise low, flying just a few inches above the ground or water. True to their name, they build their cup-shaped mud nests almost exclusively on human-made structures.
Barn Swallow Range Map

Backyard Tips

Barn Swallows don't come to seed or suet feeders, but they may take ground-up eggshells or oyster shells placed on an open platform feeder. If you have a suitable outbuilding, leaving a door or window open can encourage Barn Swallows to build a nest inside. Providing a source of mud will also help with nest building. Barn Swallows may use artificial nest cups attached to an appropriate surface.
Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans forbuilding a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.


Margaret Adamson said...

They are so tame and you are so fortunate to have had them breed at your place. great photographs of them. I hope you enjoy the weekend.

Lea said...


eileeninmd said...

Great post, it is very cool to have the swallow perch on your hand! Great photos. Thank you, Cindy for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

RedPat said...

A magical moment!

Marie C said...

Oh how exciting!!! I would love to have that experience with a baby bird. Loved all your photos and the information, too!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

VERY cool! Good luck and long life to you, baby barn swallow!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Thanks for the links. They are a beautiful bird and I have never seen one. How cool that he came to your finger. We have chickadee that come to our feeders that will sit on my husband's chest. Then suddenly look at him and seem to say " What the heck" and quickly fly off. Happens often.

Another great and interesting post.

GreenComotion said...

It is so nice that you can get a bird to come sit on your hand - I enjoyed your photos very much. You do have the magic touch with birds!
Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)

Rambling Woods said...

Welcome to Nature Notes Cindy and what a fantastic post to share. I don't have any swallows visiting my area, but have seen some hunting insects around the pond. How sweet is that baby and what a treat to hold it... Michelle

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