Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

More about the swallows

On the walk Renae and I took we watched the swallow on the snag. Renae said the song sounded like the bird water whistle you would have as a kid. After seeing the pair nesting in the snag and hearing its liquid song, we saw more flying over the lake. I love to watch swallows fly. I like them more now that I've noticed how much like bats they are. They even fly the same. There are the first swallow to return in the spring and once I see them I start watching for bats. The swallows seem more brilliantly colored than I'm used to. Maybe it is just that the light is so much better or maybe they were in full breeding splendor but they seemed to almost glow.

Tree Swallows are the only swallows that make substantial use of vegetable food such as seeds and berries. They favor bayberries. Eating berries when insects aren't available helps these swallows withstand bad weather, especially during their early spring return to the breeding range.

Later on our walk we found a series of nesting boxes. Several were being used by the swallows. We watched them flying in and out feeding their young. I tried like heck to get a picture of the swallows flying in their boxes but didn't have much luck. There were so many nest boxes around! After reading up on swallows I learned that they are very dependent on tree cavity or nest boxes. The swallow condos really aren't the best. Unlike a lot of swallow species they don't nest in big colonies.

Swallow condos

We also discovered that of the one of the boxes was full of bees (or were they wasps, I have to admit I'm a wuss when it comes to the bee class and didn't get close). You could here the whole box humming. Even with bees and close quarters the swallow condo was being used. This is the only picture that has a swallow in it, this guy was waiting for us to leave. (OK, the next step in my photo process is to be able to edit the pictures)

Swallow on the roof of the swallow condo, his head matches the sky


Blogger Eliza said...

Sounds like you had a great trip!

When I was a kid, a pair of swallows built a nest right in the uppper corner of our front porch. Mom put a tub of water on the wide railing to keep the cats from getting up there close to the birds. They would swoop in & out of the porch all day & there was such a racket when the eggs hatched with the little baby birds demanding their food.
In the summer we often had the front door open & there was one remarkable day where the mama swallow swooped in the house, turned a cirle in the living room & then went back out again. She wanted to check out the neighborhood. :)

9:10 AM  
Blogger Herman said...

Oh, how nifty to have a swallow fly though your house!

9:08 PM  

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