Dining with Welcome Swallows

While I was eating my lunch today a family of Welcome Swallows were eating theirs. We watched each other between mouthfuls until I abandoned mine to get my camera, which is never far away.


Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)


Each fledging waited patiently, sometimes stretching or preening until a parent bird swooped over my head at which point all three fledglings started calling, opening their mouths and trembling their wings. Occasionally a fledgling would fly out to meet its parent and take food on the wing, great training to help develop their hawking skills.


Welcome Swallow


 Welcome Swallow


I was pleased that this tiny fledgling kept its eye open when preening.


Welcome Swallow

 Welcome Swallow


 Welcome Swallow


When the parent bird arrived the transfer of food was incredibly quick. I had to watch the fledgling’s body language carefully to ensure that I pressed the shutter button with the vague hope of catching the moment of feeding. This parent bird has a tiny mite on the blue feathers of its back – I love the detail that bird photography reveals.

These swallows were backed by trees, a white tank and the sky depending on which way they ran. I prefer the soft green background. If you like these little birds you may enjoy the Fairy Martins’ post: the two species are very similar.

Happy Birding, Kim





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