Hungry Triplets

Sometimes birds look so cute that I just can’t help smiling.


Hungry Triplets - Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena)
1/1000, f/10, ISO 1000, focal length 365mm


I photographed these Hungry Triplets in Gippsland on the way home from a trip to the High Country; they kept both parent birds crazily busy and were always jostling for position to be the lucky one that got fed.

When looking at my images on the screen I was interested to see that the fledgling on the right has red swellings on its toes. The middle bird has a little redness visible but that could be due to the light, while the bird on the left has no toe swellings. We see a similar thing occasionally with young Helmeted Honeyeaters and the issue seems to resolve itself – which is good news for this little one. On the other hand, gout in birds is a serious illness that can also cause swellings due to an accumulation of uric acid.

Welcome Swallows measure about 15cm and weigh about 15g. Three to five eggs are incubated for 21 days and fed as nestlings for 21 days before fledging and continuing to be fed away from the nest. What easy numbers to remember.

I thought this would be a good week to spread some smiles, I hope these little ones did the trick.

Happy birding, Kim


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