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Posts Tagged ‘tree swallow nest box’

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On the weekend, Seabrooke and I cleaned out the swallow boxes and other birdhouses around the property. That is, Seab cleaned and I offered support and encouragement.

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Most of the houses had a swallow nest from last year’s season. This one had a lot of cattail fluff and soft bedding on top of the nest. It was probably the winter home of a mouse.

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This box had been filled right up to the top with soft grasses. When Seabrooke began to remove the bedding she realized there was still an occupant…or two.

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A tiny red squirrel baby! Seabrooke carefully reinstated the inhabitant and replaced the bedding.

We were none too soon with our Easter clean-up. The very next day, Tree Swallows came swooping and gliding and chittering, anxious to lay claim to the best boxes.

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This spring, I constructed a set of swallow nest boxes and mounted them in various spots around the pond and in the pasture. They were quite well received. I haven’t checked inside the boxes, but am pretty sure that at least 5 of the 7 boxes are in use. One of the boxes is quite near the barn, and I enjoyed watching the swallow pair that moved in coming and going as they prepared the box for their new family.

Mr. and Mrs. Tree Swallow at home.

Now, every time I walk out to the barn I can hear that their nesting activities have been a success. The voices of the young birds have turned the nesting box into a chatterbox! I don’t like to disturb the birds by looking in the box, even though I would love to get a peek at the young. I am satisfied to know that they are growing strong and will soon fledge. However, over at the Marvelous in Nature, Birdgirl just checked her nestboxes and kindly allowed me to share her tree swallow baby photos here.

Pictured above is one of the younger chicks. It is astounding how quickly baby birds grow. The female incubates the eggs for 13 to 16 days, and then after they hatch it is just another 16 to 24 days, about 3 weeks, before the tiny, naked babies are feathered and ready to leave the nest. When the young leave the nest, they are nearly as big as their parents. I expect “my” babies will be fledging soon, like the chick shown below.

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