Swallows feeding on the wing are a joy to watch. Fast, agile flyers, they zip through the air with speed and grace in a rhythmic, non-stop manner. Flying insects are the prey of choice and, with their streamlined bodies and wide, over-sized mouths, swallows are well-suited to the task at hand. We are blessed with several species in this region, two that are common and familiar to most nature enthusiasts: Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows.
Barn Swallows, whose nest sites were once limited to cave habitats, now rely almost entirely on human structures. Active farms are ideal locations because they generally provide all of the key habitat elements: structures, open feeding habitats, and a source of mud for nest-building,
A nature trail winding along through the transitional zone between wetlands and active farmland can be full of surprises. One of yesterday’s surprises was the discovery of a family of Barn Swallows. The nest site was an inactive barn about 100 meters away and, given the date, this is probably the second brood.
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.