We're at the peak of the song bird migration here in Virginia and one of the bird groups that I always look forward to seeing return is the swallows. Open fields with nearby barns and bridges attract lots of barn swallows here. I enjoy watching them fly in the skies all summer, along with the purple martins. Purple Martins are the largest North American swallow and I'm fortunate to have a few of them call my backyard home for the summer.
There has been a new swallow hanging around this spring. It was about three weeks ago that I looked out my back door toward the field across the street and saw what must have been a hundred or more tree swallows whirling around in the sky. A good portion of their diet is flying insects - obviously the insects were plentiful that day. I took a few photos of the event but as you can imagine, they were tough targets to nail down. Click to enlarge the photos below to get a better look at these aerial acrobats.
A few days after the tree swallows made their way through, one stopped by to pay a visit and investigate one of my nest boxes. Here's a 10 second video clip I captured with BirdCam...the birds you hear in the background are purple martins.
Tree swallows are cavity nesters and will readily use nest boxes, including those built for bluebirds. I'll keep you updated and let you know if this swallow and her mate decide to nest here.
Here's some info on building and managing nest boxes for tree swallows - http://www.treeswallowprojects.com/
Have a great week everyone and be sure to check out more bird photography over at Birdfreak.com!