Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Week of Swallows

We humans are always saying how we're amazed at how quickly our children grow. I wonder what we would say if we were birds. I read that the parent Barn Swallows fly up to 600 miles daily to feed the babies. They only eat insects, so that's alot of meal prep! Probably explains why we've been able to sit in the twilight and not be bothered by mosquitos. The two parents continue to be constantly in attendance, at night one sleeps in the nest with the kids and the other sleeps in the secondary nest. That's the second bedroom just visible at the right edge of the photo. The parents haven't been too disturbed by us, when they swoop in and we've just gone out, they complain a little bit, do a couple fly by's and then come feed the kids anyway. Now, they do not like flash photography! That tends to tick them off a bit, but duty calls and they keep bringing home the bacon.

What they do mind is a stray cat. One unfortunate cat tried strolling through the patio the other night and suddenly a full squadron of swallows appeared and chased that cat to the far edge of the yard! I swear my indoor cats were laughing themselves silly while they watched that little adventure. We call our sliding glass door Cat TV, and they've been glued to it all week.
Anyway, here's how they've changed in just 7 days from the first photo I posted. They still look rather prehistoric here, don't they? These were taken on 07/07/07, just 2 days after the above photo.

In just 2 more days, they were looking a lot like Albert Einstein....
The smoky looking halo in the photo is actually a wild bunch of feather fuzz making its first appearance. This is one of the bigger babies. There seems to be a span of about 3 days from what we can tell from the first 3 appearing, to finally seeing all 5 of the little guys. Don says they remind him of muppets! They've spent alot of time hanging their heads over the edge of the nest, extending their necks while opening and shutting their beaks. It's been really hot this last week, maybe that's a cooling activity. The photo to the right was was taken 07/09/07.

Two days later and what a major difference! I expect to see them start to move out of the nest in the next day or 2. Already the larger ones are trying to balance on the edge. Oh, here's something I'll bet you didn't know about nest housekeeping! Even as teeny 4 day old birds they knew to hang their butts over the edge of the nest to ummmmmm, relieve themselves. No potty training appeared neccessary. Clean up on aisle 3! Photo taken 07/12/07. I hope I'm home to see the fledgling flight attempts.


1 comment:

Kira said...

Wow, they're really starting to look like birds and not frogs.