Barn Swallows saying “me mom, me, me me”
We have many species of Swallows that nest here in Allegany State Park. I have talked about the Tree Swallows in some of my previous post and even posted some pictures of Rough-winged Swallows. I always think of Mary when visiting the Barn Swallow nest and greatly enjoy watching the Cliff Swallows each morning while heading to work. But, soon these birds will be gone and the fledglings will be on their own.
Barn Swallow nest
I have already starting seeing some of the earlier nestlings flying around and you can tell they have not mastered flying yet. While out doing my daily walk this week . . . . I come across a large group of swallows. These birds were all sitting out in the middle of the road doing something very suspicious.
Many Swallows out on the road.
With every step closer they would get nervous (a few would fly away) but if I stopped walking they would come back and go back to doing “whatever”. I didn’t have my binoculars with me but I knew they just had to be up to something (like when kids are up to something?). I finally got close enough that all the birds flew away except this one individual.
Fledgling Cliff Swallow
Here was this poor little fledgling Cliff Swallow that didn’t fly quickly enough and was clipped by a car. I have to go back to my banding records when asked how old do birds live!! The smaller bird’s life expectancy is anywhere around 2 to 5 years of age. Well . . . . that’s if they survive their first year of life and a more realistic answer would be less than a half of year for most every fledgling. There are so many obstacles these fledglings need to avoid like . . . predators, finding food, windmills, glass buildings, radio towers, weather and just the challenge of migrating south. Here I have this poor little Cliff Swallow who just didn’t take off quick enough before some car moved through the area.
Wonderful detail in its Feathers
Nature isn’t always politically correct and I have been questioning myself if I should post this bird or not. I finally decided today that it is important to also discuss death in birds but do note that “I still hate finding birds who made bad decisions”!! This bird is a very beautiful and I greatly love seeing the detail in each feather. Blogging is about sharing and if anything “this birds” legacy will be remembered through this blog posting.