Swallow Tales – Part 3

Our barn swallows have been very busy! Over the past few days they have built their nest and started laying eggs! Here are some pictures of the progress.

Barn swallow nests are built with mud, grasses, and feathers. Their nests are typically attached to wood, just like this one.

This picture is similar, but we’ve included a hand for scale. 🙂

This is a picture of the barn swallow nest from above. It’s not quite done here. More feathers will be added, as shown in the next few pictures.

Our swallows’ first egg of 2012, on May 10.

Two eggs, as of May 11, 2012. The egg on the left is hiding under a feather.

Although they can lay anywhere from 3-8 eggs, we like when they stick to 3 because by the time the babies are ready to leave the nest they barely fit in it! Our nestings from previous years have always yielded three babies.

Once the swallows begin incubating, the eggs will hatch 14-16 days later. We’ll tentatively anticipate a hatching date somewhere at the end of May/beginning of June. I’ll be able to firm that up a bit once we know she’s done laying eggs.

When we enter the “rather boring incubation stage” I’ll share some photos of last year’s babies to keep things interesting while we wait for this year’s! Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the adults. We’ll be back in a few days with another update. Thanks for reading!

The swallows basically watch us all summer long. At times they seem to stalk us, but they are very tolerant. They like to know where we are but don’t seem to mind when we’re around. Here, one of our pair watches from the rain gutter.

A favorite resting place

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One Response to Swallow Tales – Part 3

  1. Bertha says:

    Very cool! Thank you so much for sharing.

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