Once upon a time….
We have bluebird houses all over the property but the tree swallows usually end up taking over about 50% of them. Dan and I enjoy watching the swallows bringing nesting materials back to the houses because sometimes they can’t “get in” with the beak full they are carrying. So they will make a big swoop and try again more often than not with the same outcome. You can almost read the frustration on their faces.
In due course they do get their nests constructed and proceed to fill the nest with eggs (well we assume they do!). Then weeks later, we can hear the cheeping of the baby birds and can see the parents capably bringing food back to the bird houses.
I really don’t know how much time actually passes before we can see the little baby faces at the entrance hole to the house, but in time the little birds get their feathers and can peek out of the birdhouse waiting for mom or dad to drop off the “catch of the minute”. At times, Dan and I watch them with binoculars and it is rather startling to be watching this sweet little face (close up with the bino’s) then all of a sudden this sweet little face becomes nothing but a HUGE, orange, gaping mouth! Unexpectedly one of the parents is there to feed the little birds.
About 4 days ago, the swallows were VERY active in the yard. They had managed to coax the little ones out of the box (remember the story about the little bird who lit on my head??). I noticed that there was one little bird yet left in the house at the end of the driveway and it appeared that by the next day the other swallows had all left; there were no more to be seen (also remember that I said last year they were gone by the 4th of July)! Of course I was very concerned that this baby had been discarded. It broke my heart to see his little head poking out of the hole and hear him peep, peep, peeping. I would watch him for 30 minutes at a time and not one other bird came to the house! He would finally settle back down inside the house, but you could still hear him peeping. It was so distressing. FINALLY I saw another bird go into the house and come right back out, but it looked like a young bird. It was the gray color instead of the “teal” blue/green color of the adults.
Dan and I watched this house for a couple of more days and since the little guy was still poking his head out of the hold we figured SOMEONE must be feeding him. YESTERDAY THE PARENTS WERE AROUND AND KEPT FLYING AT THE HOUSE, CHIRPING AT THE LITTLE GUY AND HE FINALLY FLEW OUT!!! And we haven’t seen any swallows since. And they lived happily ever after…we HOPE!
For the Record Book
1 week ago