Monday, May 4, 2009

How 'bout them Swallows (BPW #36)

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 -

Have a great week everyone and be sure to check out more bird photography over at!


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I think your capability to take stealth photos and video clips of the birds is really neat!

Christopher said...

Alan - you have really made using that BirdCam into an art form!
Can't wait to hear if you get the Tree Swallows nesting - and I think I might have said this least year too, but I think it's great that you're hosting Purple Martins too!

gwen said...

Wow, that bird cam clip is very cool. A very rewarding toy :-))

(pity I don't have a garden)

Bob Kaufman said...

Wow, Alan, you captured the Tree Swallows in flight!

The video is really neat. I enjoyed watching it.

MaineBirder said...

That birdcam does an excellent job! Great work!

Anonymous said...

I do like your post about the swallows.


Dawn Fine said...

Great video capture with the birdcam.
Looks like Jeff and I wont be going to the Dismal Birding Fest...
Jeff is still feeling very tired and has no energy from his tick bite sickness.
I hope we can all meet another time.

mick said...

Swallows and swifts are so interesting to watch always so hard to photograph. Great capture with the birdcam!

Larry Jordan said...

Super job getting those shots Alan! The Birdcam video is awesome!

Swallows are obviously one of my favorite groups of birds and I really enjoy seeing them around the birdhouses. Nice job!

Les said...

Watching swallow dip and dive, and knowing they are eating things that might bight me - it is better than television.

ajay said...

very nice and cute photos of birds

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