There have been swallow nests in our tool shed for years. One nest is near the door next to a rafter and the other is balanced on a florescent light fixture. The poor swallows that survived long enough to build them, were never successful at raising any chicks. The workbench in the tool shed made a far too convenient hunting platform for our cats.
This year a pair of swallows decided to risk things and try one of the nests again. I saw the swallows darting in and out of the tool shed and I wondered if they were brave enough to try again. Putting my hand up there, I felt eggs.
There isn't enough room for me to stick my head up there and look in, but I can put my smartphone up there and snap away. Using this method, I was able to monitor the progress of the swallows without disturbing them too much. In the end there were three eggs in this nest.
|Pretty speckled swallow eggs|
I was worried that they were never going to sit on these eggs and hatch them out. I never saw any adult swallow incubating or brooding on the nest. Even so, the eggs did hatch.
|Scrawny newly hatched swallows|
|week old swallow chicks|
A week later they look a bit bored.
This morning, the nest was empty
When we first bought this place, there were three or four external swallow nests. The nests were abandoned as the cats learned to get on the roof and make swipes at the birds. I am thrilled that we have been witness to the arrival of three new swallows. I really hope this years brood make it down to sub-Saharan Africa and back again next year. It would be wonderful if the old nest sites are reestablished.