Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday - Tree Swallows


I grew up near the Mission San Juan Capistrano which is world-renowned for the Cliff Swallows that return to it on the same day every year for nesting.  Little did I know that we have several different species of swallows in our area - the Tree and Barn species being overshadowed by their "famous" cousins.

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary has built nestboxes for the Tree Swallows all over the Sanctuary and it is amazing to see hundreds of them swooping and diving over the ponds and darting in and out of their nestboxes.  They are incredibly agile flyers - scooping up insects in mid-air and grabbing bugs or sips of water on the wing from the surface of the ponds.  Plus - I can't resist that gorgeous blue/green iridescent color!


 
 
This bird in full blue/green plumage was sitting on a branch overlooking the more grayish bird in some of the following shots.  I am assuming this is an adult that was keeping an eye on a recently fledged juvenile.


 
 
This one just has patches of iridescence and was much less wary of my presence than the adult above.  However, now that I look at the Cornell site - this may be the female.
 

 
 
Did seem a lot more interested in preening than in keeping an eye on me or moving away...which is how I was able to get better shots of this bird than the adult in the first photo.
 

 
 
One last stretch after preening...
 

 
 
...and it was ready to pose...
 

 
 
...and pose
 

 
 
And then stretch a little more...
 

 
 
Maybe it's the extra fluffiness that says "juvenile" to me...
 

 
 
Love the iridescence!  You can also see this bird is banded.
 

 
 
And the adult has finally had enough of me!  But does show off its leg band in this departure shot.
 
 
http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/2015/07/wild-bird-wednesday-153-magpie.html



13 comments:

eileeninmd said...

The swallows are cute birds and one of my many favorites. Great collection of photos. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

Adam Jones said...

The Tree Swallows are great looking birds.

Phil Slade said...

I rather wish we had Tree Swallows here in the UK as well as our common Barn Swallows. Although they are closely related I'm sure the two species could co-exist. Wishful thinking but for now I can enjoy your lovely pictures of Tree Swallows.

bailey-road.com said...

They are such cute birds. Wonderful captures.

Latane Barton said...

That juvenile was really prepping for a photo! i don't see any swallows in my part of the country.

NatureFootstep said...

gorgeous images. You should be proud of them. Love to see it. :)

Marie C said...

Wonderful photos! Love that you saw both an adult and a juvenile!

Margaret Adamson said...

Cracking series of images of this beautiful little bird.

Mary Cromer said...

If you do not already know, I love, love Swallows and Tree Swallows are so beautiful and so useful. You shared some beautiful images. If you have not had a chance yet, my blog is celebrating 6 years~

Chris Rohrer said...

How anyone can capture and band a swallow is beyond me? They are so FAST! Beautiful bird!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Swallows are such agile and graceful fliers.

Stewart M said...

Great shots - I think a lot of people overlook the beauty in common birds when they become obsessed with rare or unusual ones.

Trying to catch up on visits and comment while I wait for a flight - one busy week to go and it's back to normal!

Cheers - Stewart M - Heathrow Airport UK (for the next couple of hours!)

EG CameraGirl said...

Very nice shots of the swallows. I love to watch them hunt for insects!