Preflight Ritual

One of a pair of Tree Swallows perched above the chosen nest box; they typically  preen and stretch in the morning sun prior to take-off.




For information and photos relating to habitat management for tree swallows and other cavity-nesting songbirds, you might want to visit this post from my archives:

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

7 thoughts on “Preflight Ritual

    • I got my nest boxes cleaned and repaired just in time! There are 2, possibly 3 pairs of Tree Swallows staking out their nesting sites. They’re approachable and lots of fun to watch throughout the season. Thanks!

  1. Excellent shots of these shimmery little guys. I do miss our bunch from my previous home. Still working at making my new home a bit more inviting to life.
    Happy Easter!

    • Fight mode: inter- or intra- specific? Last year I watched swallows invade a box occupied by bluebirds. The swallows circled the site and dive-bombed the bluebirds, showing moderate aggression. The bluebirds held their ground and nested successfully. Could be that there is more going on than I realize, but this behavior seems to be the exception rather than the rule. One reason for this might be my approach to nest box management. I tend to flood a site with boxes and usually locate boxes in pairs, attempting to reduce conflicts and benefit multiple species. As an example, I have 8 boxes on a managed (brush-hogged) opening of less than an acre in size. Six of the boxes are in pairs (posts a few feet apart). Last year 5 of the 8 boxes were occupied – wrens (2), swallows (2) and bluebirds (1). There was a field mouse in one of the other boxes and the remaining 2 boxes were stuffed with dummy wren nests, twigs top to bottom, to prevent other birds from using them. I do the same thing on the other end of my property, with similar results (swallows, wrens, no bluebirds…but Great Crested Flycatchers!). BTW – I did a post on this last year – habitat management for song birds…. Looking forward to your post.

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