Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Coastal BC Birds: Violet-Green Swallows

Violet-Green Swallows

At the cabin, we have three kinds of swallows: Barn Swallows, Tree Swallows, and Violet-green Swallows. The Barn Swallows are easy to spot because of their tawny breasts and V-shaped tail. The Tree Swallows and Violet-green Swallows have more in common. On the fly, it's hard (at least for me) to identify one from the other. But when they roost, the unique white curl around the eyes of the Violet-green Swallow makes them stand out.

Like Tree Swallows, they build nests in vacant holes in dead trees, or nesting boxes. While Mom's inside with the kids, Dad often perches on top to keep an eye on things.

Wayne and I got our boxes at a local store, but loggers make their own and place them on trees around Powell Lake. In Chippewa Bay, almost every snag had a box well above the high water mark.

We like having Swallows around. They're fun to watch as they swoop and dive after insects, occasionally dipping into the water to catch their prey. Plus, they keep the mosquito population down for better outdoor enjoyment and sleeping. -- Margy


  1. I have never seen that colorful of swallow-will definitely have to keep my eyes out.

  2. Must be fun to watch them - loVe the bird houses.

    abcw team

  3. Great post. A friend made me a bunch of nesting boxes. I love birds and enjoyed your shots and post. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  4. I'd love to see a violet-green one in the wild.
    What a wonderful place your lake is.

  5. Two times the enjoyment, diving and eating those pesky mosquitos. I discovered a wonderful tip on Pinterest the other day--if you put Orajel on your mosquito bites the itching will stop immediately.

  6. Love your birdhouses!

  7. Love your birdhouses!

  8. Thank you for this delightful post! I also like swallows, but I am not so clever to know their various names.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  9. Anonymous5:52 AM

    I've not seen violet green swallows ... lovely.

  10. I don't think we have swallows at our cabin...they sound like they offer good entertainment and are an asset while keeping the mosquitoes away!

  11. So strange - TWO violet-green swallow posts this round. Good choice, obviously.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy