Friday, June 11, 2010

Barn Swallows

Barn Swallow is the correct name of course but here in the UK everyone still uses the everyday word of “Swallow” because we only have one really native swallow species, unlike the rest of the world e.g. North America where they need to distinguish between for instance Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow and Rough-winged Swallow or Africa where there are several species of closely related swallows.

Barn Swallow

So I went to the smallholding at Hambleton where the Swallows use what aren’t exactly barns but simply untidy outbuildings that house chickens, horses, dogs, aviary birds and a collection of motorcycle bits and pieces in various states of disrepair.

The nest where I ringed six young on the 5th June still had the same six, but now well developed and ready to fledge in a few days more.

Swallow Chicks

Checking all the nests I found three of them with young at various stages of development, the just mentioned well grown brood, a nest with newly hatched, and a nest with 5 young about 5 or 6 days old that were large enough for ringing with their unique identifiers, X515384 to X515388. Of the remaining nests, five had complete clutches of eggs with a newly lined nest still awaiting eggs.

Swallow Chick

With the adults returning frequently to the nests I took the opportunity for more photographs. But with all the nests at various stages I will make many more visits before the end of the season when I guess I will not resist the temptation of taking yet more Barn Swallow pictures.




Errol said...

I'll swallow that!

Pete Woodruff said...

This is probably a repeat comment by me I know but....quite amazing what one of the first things this miserable little piece of flesh and bone (Swallow chick) has to do in its life, and even more amazing it can then return in under a years time to the very spot you are holding it in your hands at....mind boggling stuff.

Unravel said...

This year I haven't got any photos of a swallow's nest yet though I noticed several around my place. Don't know if most of the youngs have already left the nests or not......

Snap said...

Lovely shots Happy Critter Day!

Nikki-ann said...

Very interesting :) I've no need to watch Spring Watch, I'll just come here instead!

eileeninmd said...

Adorable baby swallow pic's.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Wonderful photos and information, thanks.

Dave said...

Great work.
I love Barn Swallows, great colours and very sleek!

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