It’s For the Birds
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By Sandra Ebeling
It’s already passed the middle of June. Time passes quickly on the bluebird trails as we are already on the second hatch of the year. This heat is very hard on the babies. I checked the nests about once a week, and yesterday their little mouths were open.
They will soon be grown up and leaving the nest. Two interesting birds that I like and dislike are the Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows.
They are both beautiful birds and eat many insects. If you have ever experienced a Barn Swallow nest on your deck or front porch, you know full well it is made of mud and grass and very messy, and if you let them build, the babies get messy before leaving the nest. I have grocery bags hanging from my front porch and basement patio to keep them from trying again. They have also gave it a try at the cabin patio. We don’t have a barn for them, but I can remember as a kid in our barn in Antioch, we had plenty of barn swallow nests. They were our bug zappers with wings. Kept the insects down, as did the Purple Martins. They capture most of their food during flight.
The tree swallow is a cousin, and also helps with insects. They nest in the bluebird boxes. I usually have at least two, and this year, I have two nests that are almost ready to leave the boxes. They have a grass nest lined in soft feathers. They usually lay between 5-7 eggs. They migrate along the costs of America from the Carolinas to California. They are very hardy birds and can make it cold weather as well. Both of these swallows are unique in knowing when Duane is mowing and baling hay and when I am mowing. They both flew in front of the mower when I mowed the other day.
They are catching all the insects they can find. It is a neat experience to watch them. Both of us are allergic to some kinds of bees, and they do a good job of helping with those in a hayfield or tall grass.
God sends his creatures to take care of us for sure. They sore so effortlessly along in front diving and flying upward with their treasurers to go feed their babies or themselves.
Another neat insect eater is the Purple Martin. They are so neat to watch sore in the air and catch their meal. They catch it, and zoom right back to the house or gourd and go right in.
Very accurate. I hope you are enjoying the summer time birds.
Until next time, good birdwatching.