I started this blog three years ago, with photos of tree swallows nesting in an old martin house:
But tree swallows are really supposed to nest in dead trees, hence the name. This summer, on June 21, they were nesting by my big beaver pond, something I hadn’t yet noticed, but luckily Mary Jewett’s sharp eyes spotted it. See the holes in this dead tree?
The parents come and go with food, wedging themselves into the smallish holes:
And squeezing out again once the food has been delivered:
Sometimes a nestling sticks their head out, so the adult takes the opportunity to ram a large dragonfly right down her offsprings’s throat.
The youngster seems a little uncertain how to handle this rather large dragonfly :
But he gets a grip, and the mother checks before leaving:
And the nestling bravely gets it down:
No messing about pretending to be an airplane for 5 minutes when feeding your toddlers: just force it down their gullets.
Maybe human parents should pretend to be swallows, not airplanes?
Much of the feeding is done in a brief encounter while the adult remains more or less on the wing. The chick gets ready:
and the food is transferred:
Occasionally they take a well-earned rest: