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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Barn Swallows

Here's a pair of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) that, like their relatives the Purple Martins, spend the winters in Central and South America and return here each year to breed and raise their young. They can be difficult to photograph because they catch their insect meals on the wing, swooping and diving with wonderful grace and speed. Thus I was happy to see this couple digging in the mud on the shores of a shallow puddle. They are collecting mud in order to build their nest. I found it interesting to learn that, when the young ones finally hatch, they will be fed not only by their parents, but by their brothers and sisters from the previous year's brood. I suspect this is a good way to learn the parenting skills required.