Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hungry, hungry!

Outside the warming room near the entrance to Reifel Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a pair of barn swallows is raising their brood. Two weeks ago, the chicks were feathering out, and - so they claimed - half-starved.

Laser-bright mouth, "Put food here!" it says. But Ma and Pa Swallow are taking a short break.

I noticed that, although the youngsters seemed to be yelling, and I was only a few feet away, I couldn't hear anything. It may be that while the parents were resting, the chicks were only practicing their gape, or that their cry was beyond the range of my aging ears. Audubon has a recording of the chicks' begging cry, here. (I can hear this fine, even at the lowest volume.)


Two chicks, two parents.

Chin feathers like one of those rubberized hairbrushes. 

They grow quickly; by now, they'll be trying out their wings.

1 comment:

  1. Our barn swallow pair lost their whole brood just before they were ready to fledge. We suspect a squirrel that had been hanging around. We found three dead on the ground and the fourth dead inside the nest. The pair had to build a new nest for the second brood, but the squirrel has been back. We've tried to trap him for relocation, but he's a wily guy. - Margy


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