On June 2, June 24 and July 5, 2007 I posted a three part, saga, “[Home Improvement]” about two young barn swallows, (Hirundo rustica), building their nest, rearing their young and then flying off to their wintering grounds in South and Central America. Again we have witnessed this same occurrence, but on a much grander scale.
Each evening when we are at home, we, Layla and I, feed out cat, Bo, and dog, Spike out on our back porch. Heavy rain or cold weather will drives both of us inside, but our pets will try to eat outside even in the worst circumstances. This spring and summer we’ve had additional guests joining us, our nesting pair of barn swallows. As soon as we go outside each night both of the birds “attack’ Bo and spike for one or two swoops, then they retire to their nest knowing that at meal time our pets are no threat to them.
But now, their attacks have become real because there are five, yes five, young barn swallows as pictured, in and out of the nest. Their first try this spring netted us two more birds, but this round of breeding resulted in five off springs. Max eggs they will lay are seven, but these young birds, almost ready to fly, have outgrown their nest.
Yes, Mom and Dad still feed them and will for two or more days after they begin flying. The young birds have to learn how to catch and eat the many flying insects we have around here.
Sitting out on the porch Thursday evening, the male, barn swallow was sitting in the top of a nearby mesquite tree making sure the pets didn’t stray too close to the little ones.