We are empty nesters! The last of the four barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) babies in the nest (on which I posted for approximately the last month) on our deck fledged. I miss them already!
The chronological events since the last update on the young barn swallows (Two Weeks Old):
July 23rd – all four hatchlings are in the nest; the largest of the four spend most of its time on the nest edge.
July 24th – woke to three birds in the nest; the fourth was nowhere to be found; there was no evidence that it fell out of the nest and fell victim to a predator, i.e. stray feathers or blood, I assume it is happily foraging for insects.
July 25th – while I happened to be watching, all three remaining birds, as if on cue, flew from the nest; two disappeared immediately while one landed on the ground nearby; the bird on the ground kept flapping its wings but could not get airborne; finally Leonard, since we were afraid a predator might attack it on the ground, lifted the baby back into the nest; the one baby remained in the nest and the parents continued to feed it.
July 26th – again, as I was observing the nest, the final baby fledged and flew off strongly; the parents periodically returned to the nest for a few hours, then they too permanently departed. The nest time after hatching was exactly three weeks.
This picture is the final baby in the nest – Lookout CA.
It is quiet without all the avian activity. In the evenings when I go out to the barn I see groups of barn swallows sitting on the electric wires. I wonder if any of them kept me company and provided hours of enjoyment as I worked in my kitchen this summer.
Goodbye to the barn swallows until next season–