Saturday, August 02, 2008

Violet-green Swallows feeding young

Today the young Violet-green Swallows in my nestbox fledged, so now the box is suddenly silent. But yesterday they were still being fed at the opening by both parents, and my WingScapes remote camera caught them in the act while I was away at work.

Fortunately, today being Saturday, I was able to spend some time watching the young birds learning to fly and to land on things. Hopefully they will manage to avoid being captured by the ever-present and hungry Western Scrub-Jays that were watching the action all day, while my neighbor's cats watched from the ground.

In late morning I set up my spotting scope and "digiscoped" these shots of the first fledgling out of the box as it was getting its first taste of the open air. It was a little clumsy at landing on the wire, but was amazingly agile in flight, considering this was the first time its wings were ever used for that purpose. The yellow edges of the bill can be seen in the photos, but otherwise (except for slightly shorter wings and tail and a few remaining tufts of downy feathers on the head) it's not easy to distinguish it from the adult birds at a distance.


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