Empty Nesters

Final Fledgling

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–

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3 Responses to Empty Nesters

  1. Pingback: 2016 Barn Swallow Fledgling | The Nature Niche

  2. usermattw says:

    Aww. But it’s a great story, and there’s next year. 🙂

    • gingkochris says:

      Now I can clean all the mud and droppings off of my deck and kitchen window – sort of like reclaiming a child’s room when it heads off to college. I gave up on keeping the area clean when the swallows were there.

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