The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) pair finished building their nest on the overhang ledge outside our kitchen window (Lookout CA) several days ago. Now there are four eggs in the nest and the pair is sitting on them. After three days the number of eggs has not increased so it appears that the female is not going to lay any more eggs.
Barn swallows lay from three to seven creamy or pinkish white eggs with lavender, brown and gray spots. Of these four eggs the one in the upper right of the picture looks much more “rusty” than the other three. The difference in color surprised me a little. I naively assumed that eggs from pair to pair might look a little different, but that within a clutch all the eggs would be uniform. In about 12 to 17 days, the incubation period, I hope to proudly show off my baby barn swallows.
There is very little space above the nest making it impossible to get a picture looking down on the nest interior. To take a picture, or even observe the activity in the nest, Leonard and I must use a mirror. I only peek in once a day when the parents are briefly away.
I thought of another problem: the swallows built their nest directly above the spot on the deck where I feed our three outdoor cats. If and when the baby swallows fall out of their nest the cats will be there thinking I provided a special “treat”. These are spayed, approximately ten-year old, lazy female cats who stay around the deck and yard all day. Hmmm. . . do we need to start thinking of a safety net for the birds?