Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tree Swallows


I have never considered my blog to be a "birding blog" per se, and I try to write about various subjects and experiences. It seems lately that birds are the topic of all my posts. What can I say? It is April and next month is May. One of my birder friends thought the yearly calendar should go like this;- January, March, April, April, May, May, June, July, August, September, September, October. (I would prefer two Octobers but otherwise like the model)


Today my husband and I drove to Guelph Lake, about twenty minutes from home. This is such a short drive for great birding. It is the only local spot where one can find Bluebirds fairly easily as many bird houses have been erected in the fields around the man-made lake. But for each Bluebird, there are a dozen, or perhaps a hundred Tree Swallows. Bluebirds are as shy as Tree Swallows are gregarious. They swooped close to our heads as they chased each other noisily around the road and field.

"How's the house work going, Honey?"

I stood near the box where a pair of Tree Swallows was building a nest. I did not know which bird was the male, but could make assumptions based on their behaviour. One of the birds was working diligently on her the nest while he the other flew around inspecting the work or perching on top of the house. Wait a minute...click on the second picture to enlarge it. The bird on top of the nesting box is banded on the right leg. Here is the male so my initial assumptions were correct! (Of course I cannot project any of these observations and make similar assumptions about the behaviour of men...)


Here is some more blue, this time from Siberian Squill blossoms, to show that I am appreciating newly emerging flowers as well as newly arriving birds. These were blooming at our city's municipal gardens yesterday. What a wonderful time of year!

18 comments:

  1. Ruth, those are great photos of the swallows in flight! One of my nest boxes has been claimed by tree swallows. It has been two years since they have nested here, and I do enjoy watching them swoop over the yard as they come and go.

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  2. These are all such welcome spring pictures.It would be interesting to know just where this Swallow was banded.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  3. I truly enjoy watching the swallows swooping. You got some nice shots of them Ruth. And the blue flowers jumped right off the page.

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  4. Oh..what a treat Ruth and you captured them so beautifully..

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  5. AWESOME Photos!! It seems like it was a Tree Swallow day yesterday. They are such pretty birds but I do feel bad for the bluebirds though because they don't stand a chance of a nestbox with all of the swallows there.

    Love the flowers.

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  6. Love your tree swallow photos Ruth! Ahem... I seem to make the same observations about determining sex...lol! Isn't it just the most wonderful time? Makes me grin from ear to ear.

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  7. Gorgeous pics! Every morning on our walk one of us says, It's such a birdy time of year! The numbers are amazing.

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  8. Thanks for sharing those beautiful swallows. I never see them often enough - usually swooping around and never still. Your photos are great! I enjoyed your gender influence. Amazing, isn't it?

    I'd like a few more Mays in the calendar, too.

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  9. Great post! It's getting exciting arond here too. I've seen a ton of displaying to the ladies in my yard so far. And lots of M2M competition. Still a chilly offshore wind blowing here, so things are probably slow at Point Pelee.

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  10. Ruth,

    Wow! I had a lot of catching up to do here on your blog. So many beautiful photos and posts.

    Spring is here and with it birds of all types. I've seen several hawks, a couple of eagles, as well as the cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, robins and the more common species. I haven't seen any orioles or goldfinches as yet.

    The blue heron is making his home along the canal again as is the pileated woodpecker. I haven't had a chance to get any good photos, nor have the boys and I been out for a nature walk lately.

    Enjoyed such pretty photos this morning.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  11. The tree swallow are beautiful and you have captured them perfectly.


    Our first swallows have arrived from Africa....it was wonderful to see them feeding over the garden......

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  12. Wonderful photographs, especially the tree swallows in flight. They are gorgeous.

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  13. First time visitor. Very nice blog. I think my "birding blog" evolved into other subjects as well but spring well... belong to the birds and the flowers.

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  14. Yes, our blogs to evolve, don't they? And get better and broader somehow.
    Your tree swallows are beautiful. I love how you figured out who was male and who was female! LOL!

    The pretty blue flowers are so colourful. I love Spring!

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  15. Beatuiful photos, Ruth. Tree swallows are gorgeous birds. I love how they swoop!

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  16. Love that first photo of the side view of the bird in mid air. How did you get that?

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  17. Swallows are interesting birds to watch. Great pictures.

    www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

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  18. I like watching the tree swallows in my backyard. I can get really close to them before they fly away.
    A few years ago I put out some plastic purple martin gourds for them to nest in and that has helped keep them from nesting in the bluebird boxes--the swallows definitely prefer those gourds!

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