Sunday, June 7, 2009

Barn Swallow Nesting Time

Four Barn Swallow--Hirundo rustica nestlings in their mud nest at a business complex in Orange County, CA.

Well, it is no fun to have knee problems, but despite being out of commission for a while, I did manage to get these shots at an Orange County business complex. Here are some grumpy-looking nestlings waiting impatiently for a meal of insects from mama and papa. I didn't have to walk far for these shots, and I didn't stay long. Just shot some video and photographs and went back to icing my knees. I have cabin fever big time.

Four Barn Swallow--Hirundo rustica nestlings

The parents seem to give two or so short calls as they come toward the nest and the nestlings go wild.

Four Barn Swallow--Hirundo rustica nestlings back to waiting.

I didn't get any pictures of the busy parents today, but last year I got a lot. Here are two from last year at the same complex.

Barn Swallow--Hirundo rustica adult. Note the deeply forked tail.

When the adults are flying by, you can see the dark blue on the top--sometimes looks black--and the rust color on the underside. The field mark that tells you this is a Barn Swallow--Hirundo rustica for sure is the deeply forked tail.

Adult Barn Swallows--Hirundo rustica on a light fixture.

The adults fly low over water or fields and catch insects in their open mouths. They bring some to their nestlings every few minutes to keep them growing. Recently, I have seen Barn Swallows--Hirundo rustica swooping over the grassy berms at the business complex where I work . The Barn Swallows--Hirundo rustica are especially active when the gardeners are working.
Watch for fast-moving birds low to the ground, and you may see some Barn Swallows near you. Have fun birding in Orange County!

Barn Swallow Nesting Time from OC Birder Girl on Vimeo.

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External Links and Resources

Animal Diversity Web: Barn Swallows

All About Birds: Barn Swallows

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