Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Swallow Chicks

I followed up the Swallow nests at Hambleton today and ringed the first chicks of the year. It wasn’t a particularly early date, just about average for the 360 young Swallows ringed here in the last 8 years. As I took a few pictures, (who can resist photographing Swallows?) I noticed a couple of ringed birds; as I have never ringed any adults here, it’s pretty safe they will be returning Swallows from amongst the 360 birds of previous years.

The bird below isn’t a young bird begging for food as the blog header picture is, but an adult male proclaiming his territory to other passing Swallows.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

I found 5 nests this week, four with full clutches of 5 eggs, and in one of those nests eggs just hatching. The fifth nest in the well-used chicken shed which held 6 young just at the right age to ring, feathers ready to emerge from their pins.

Barn Swallow chick

The chicken shed draws in House Sparrows looking for a quick meal, but sometimes they are a bit too engrossed in feeding and slow to respond to a safe pair of ringer’s hands.

House Sparrow

16 comments:

Russell said...

Wow! Love the adult male proclaiming his turf. Amazing photograph.

Seasons said...

That helpless little chick is soon going to be one graceful Swallow. Thanks for regularly posting these beautiful pictures.

Paco Sales said...

La golondrina haciendo notar su presencia con su canto, un bello primer plano del gorrion, buena jornada Phil, un abrazo para ti amigo

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm so silly, Phil. When I see a tiny bird being held like that for ringing, the adult in me knows this is a good thing, but years of having our parents admonish us, "Don't touch baby birds or animals because their parents will reject them" still rises to the surface and makes my heart lurch.
Keep up the good work. I'll try to learn to "watch" from the other side of the continent without having a mini-heart-attack!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Dave said...

Hambleton as in Hambleton, North Yorkshire??

Phil said...

Hi Dave, that's Hambleton, Fylde Coast.
Thanks Russell, Kay and Seasons.
Paco mi amigo, Gracias

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

Aysss que pajarillos mas guapos...

Saludos!

Nikki-ann said...

Wow, I've never seen a chick so up-close. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing :)

Gary said...

Great photos!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Bobbster said...

Great images Phil very sharp/detailed

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

wow!!! EXQUISITE shots!!

i'm really impressed!

i love all of them. I also love your blog.

betty

visiting via camera critters.

eileeninmd said...

I love the swallows, great shots. The baby is adorable!

dreamfalcon said...

wonderful photos of the adult and the chick seems to be so tiny!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...was at the "Fiber Frolic" yesterday with my daughter!!
If you have questions like... What to heck is a "Fiber Frolic"???....you know how to reach me hahaha!!
Thus the reason I haven't been by yet to comment !!
I love Barn Swallows.. used to have a large barn, and they nesting there every year.
As for the pesty House Sparrow, not to be confused with the House-Tree Swallow lol...I have had to deal with them pecking on the head of setting birds in the nest boxes until he actually killed one...well...I'm on watch now!!

mick said...

Great photos and interesting details about ringing the birds. I imagine it would make it very interesting to know which birds were returning each year and to keep accurate track of numbers.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those Swallow images just shine Phil, what wonderful birds and the little one, so wee tiny, soon to grow and take flight...just makes one happy!

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