Monday, July 18, 2011

First Flight

This year we again had great luck with our visiting Barn Swallows. Thanks to a "helping hand" from Wayne in the form of a support shelf for the nest and a pad on the porch roof for first flights gone wrong. Fortunately, this year the pad wasn't needed except to catch all the droppings under the nest.

Here are three babies the day before their first flight. Is that fear or excitement I see in their eyes. The next morning between showers all three little guys took to the skies. But for several days, they returned to the comforts of their nest before heading out on their own.

Hopefully Bert (that's what we call papa) and his lovely lady will stick around to share another brood with us before heading south for the winter. -- Margy


  1. Aren't they sweet, Margy? Lucky you to have them, and be able to photograph them.
    I would have loved to watch the progress of nestlings in our yard. We had robins nesting on top of the light fixture outside the shed and starlings nesting in the eaves of the garage. Dick says the baby robins hatched and flew away while I was taking my train trip across the country, and I know at least two of the starlings didn't survive because I found them on the cement outside the garage. People say starlings are pests, but I get such a chuckle out of watching them walk on those funny yellow legs. I don't know why, but I think they're hilarious and great fun.
    A pair of mourning doves seemed to call our yard "home" but we never knew where they nested, just all of a sudden there were three of them instead of two, the third one quite a bit smaller but fully fledged by the time I saw it.
    I sure home Bert and his lady come back. They're so lovely and the babies are so cute.
    -- K

  2. What a lovely post Margy and great photos of your little neighbours. We see the swallows in the evening here however they roost inland a little, away from the wild winds...stay safe and don't blow is screaming here at the moment!
    P.S. I enjoyed going back over your older posts, I haven't had much time to do that this summer.

  3. So lucky you were able to see the process from being to end, Margy, without any major problems. I was watching my nesting backyard chickadees survive predators and rough weather. But I did not see the final outcome. I hope the pair eventually found another nest and had their babies in a peaceful place!

  4. Just adorable,lucky birds.

  5. These are really great photos, Margy! We had a few nests in the area (there are so many trees and sheds) and I enjoyed watching the fledglings come to the bird feeder. They're so funny with the bits of feather and down they're shedding and then small seeds which stick to their bills...lovely and sweet.

    But too many get caught by the hawks which also abound here. The way of nature...

  6. Hey Margy,

    They look utterly wonderful! How fantastic that with a little help from their friends they were able to rear their youngsters.

    Good on you.


  7. They are so cute. I think it's excitement you saw in their little eyes, afterall they have a big trip ahead of them, and who is not excited about big trips.

  8. Thanks everyone for stopping by for Skywatch Friday and to share your baby bird stories. I sure am going to miss them until next spring. - Margy

  9. We have a pair of swallows nesting in the barge (Bertie and Gertie!). Yesterday a whole flock of swallows appeared and were flying in and out of the barge. Do you know if they have all decided that it would be a good place to live, or are they trying to get to our little baby swallows, or are they there to help the babies fly? We are being dived bombed! x

  10. Not sure Fran, but I know after our babies fledged there was a lot of flying activity around the cabin. Of course, some of it was the babies testing out their wings, and the parents were with them encouraging them to fly. Right now there's a lot of squabbling going on. The parents are trying to get the babies to leave and are rebuilding the nest for a second brood. You know how it is getting those teens to leave home. - Margy