Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Swallow chicks

We are fortunate to have a large number of swallows on the farm that return each year to have their chicks. The return of the swallows in the Spring is always a moment of excitement that winter is over.
They build their nests high up in the barns and the constant noise of them is part of our summer.
They work tirelessly to feed and look after their young.

They swoop around the yard catching flying insects to feed the chicks.

The chicks can not only be heard but can be seen with mouths open waiting for the next tasty morsel.

This parent has an insect ready to feed to them.

They are not easy to photograph plus I was concerned that I may stop them coming in to feed. They are vulnerable to predators. Last year this very nest was raided by another bird probably a sparrow hawk. There are other predators around.

The swallows are well aware of the danger and are frequently heard and seen dive bombing the cats in the yard. It is apparently the males that do this. I have seen them do this to magpies too. They rest and keep watch from the telegraph wires where before long they will be joined by their babies.

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