At San Joaquin, there's been a concerted effort to promote breeding of this species with nest boxes placed all around the ponds. Watching the birds arrive in January and start to bicker over the boxes is endlessly entertaining.
But nothing can beat the sight of what comes next - the first appearance of the babies!!
I could've sworn there was really only room for one bird at a time in that doorway, but everybody wants to get fed RIGHT NOW!
Mom must be comin' in hot from the right!
Ooh...she just missed on that pass!
Now she's got it dialed in...and with a nice, juicy dragonfly, too!
Across the trail in another box...another hungry baby!
Not to worry...the parents are on the job!
Apparently, EVERYONE in the neighborhood is having dragonfly for breakfast!
No picky eaters here!
Just tired parents who swoop off to catch more bugs as soon as this one gets delivered.
These photos were all taken this past Spring. I was at San Joaquin yesterday and noticed that the first Tree Swallows had just arrived - soon the sky there will be full of their aerial displays and the liquid trills of their voices...and the cycle will start over again.