Saturday, August 22, 2009

Three's a Charm

Early in July, I wrote about the tragedy that struck our Barn Swallow nesting pair in And Then There Were None. All five chicks were either pushed or fell to their deaths from their nest under the peak of our cabin roof.

On July 12, I wrote a Barn Swallow Update in which we built a "safety net" for future chicks. Shortly after, Wayne and I left for our vacation trip to Newfoundland. When we returned to the cabin last week, we were greeted by our nesting pair and the chirping voices of three new chicks. We were amazed at how big they were already.

The other thing we noticed was how crumbly the nest appeared. This is its second season, and the second brood this year. The dry weather and heavy use was really affecting its stability. Yesterday morning when I went out to check on the chicks, the nest had broken loose on one side. One chick was still clinging to the left side, but the other two were nowhere to be seen.

Wayne went up on the ladder, but there were no little bodies on the pad (thank goodness). The mother returned to the one chick several times. She would land on his back and give a nudge with both of her feet, like she was encouraging him to fly. After watching for a while, I went inside to cook breakfast. When I returned, the last chick was gone. The broken nest may have accelerated the three chicks' flying lessons, but it wasn't the disaster it could have been.

The family spent the morning soaring, gliding and dipping into the water for tasty insect treats. Later in the day, the three chick returned to the cabin porch to rest together. Then this morning, they ventured out as a team to the swim ladder. It has been lots of fun watching them. I hope Mom and Dad return next year and rebuild the nest, only a bit stronger this time. -- Margy


  1. They are so cute. I am glad this batch made it. I love the picture of the three babies. My sailing was fantabulus I am trying to decide what pictures to post.
    Your friend Betty

  2. Anonymous2:26 PM

    What a lovely story, so glad there is a happy end to it!
    They are really cute little birds and you were such good hosts what with the padding and all, I am sure they will return next season.
    We have return visitor Swallows here in So Cal for years on end.

  3. Wonderful news and they are so cute. My brood flew back to Newfoundalnd yesterday, did you have a fun trip?



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy