By: Pat Coate
Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s AllAboutBirds.com gives a good description of tree swallows and their typical behavior, which I have observed often:
“Handsome aerialists with deep-blue iridescent backs and clean white fronts, Tree Swallows are a familiar sight in summer fields and wetlands across northern North America. They chase after flying insects with acrobatic twists and turns, their steely blue-green feathers flashing in the sunlight.”
But recently I watched about twenty tree swallows repeatedly fly along a small stream and seemingly dip down to the water. I figured they were feeding on insects, but this next photo made me wonder if they might instead be getting a drink.
Looks like this one was touching the water with its tongue. A bit more of a close-up look:
A challenge to get a picture without too much blur.
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Good timing….we live on a river in Michigan & observed a group of tree swallows doing the doing the same as you described & thought they were after bugs – your photos are wonderflul! Amazing you were able to get a photo that close & clear…great talent! It does look like they are getting a drink. Thanks for sharing.
2 May 2013 at 8:23 pm