Monday, August 30, 2021

They Grow up so Fast

I don't know anyone who doesn't instantly fall in love with barn swallows (Hirundo rustica).  They are attractive birds which eat flying insects and have a particularly aerobatic flying ability.  I enjoy watching them flitting about the property, admiring their athleticism and thinking of all the mosquitoes they must be eating.  As the evening draws near, there's a shift change, and the equally aerobatic bats take over the flying insectivore niche.

We have one particular building with an overhang, and the swallows love to build their nests underneath this structure, plastering their mud nurseries under the beams.  Whenever we check on this building in the course of our job duties, we are greeted by the enchanting young birds:

Soon, these little beauties will be joining their parents on the wing, zipping about in zig-zag fashion, gobbling up mosquitoes in a particularly balletic fashion.  They are sure to enchant me for a few more weeks, before flying south to Central or South America, and for that (and the pest control work), I am grateful.


Richard said...

They really are nice birds. There used to be a couple nest colonies around here but then people decided they were too messy. We still have 2 other kinds of swallow but they are also getting scarce.
Where i live, they used to glue those clay pellet nests on the underside of Pine Creek Bridge and other places.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Too messy? People need to have their heads examined.

Richard said...

Don't get me started. We had a nice little rookery of great blue herons, about 9 nests, in the alamo grove where the east and north forks meet.
People were worried that they were carrying "bird flu". Also that they were stealing fish. What the hell?
Anyway, i went to check on the place and all the trees were cut down and the bulldozers were still scraping the rest of it. Now it grows tumbleweeds and cheatgrass.
I am not a bitter old man but i am an angry old man.
And now, 4 years later, they have not done anything with that place.
I think they did it just to assert their power. We own this place now and we don't care about you.
If they even had a thought in their heads they wouldn't be this way. But no, they watch tv. Sundays they go to church and do secret insider deals.

Excuse me for this rant. I could rant on for hours until i passed out from exhaustion. Sorry. I just get so angry sometimes.