Unusual feather on a Violet-green Swallow
I recently opened one of my Violet-green Swallow nestboxes to clean out the old nest and make it ready for the new season. I was surprised to find three dead swallows: an adult female and two nestlings that had apparently been within days of fledging when they died. I know that one young bird did fledge from this clutch, and for several days was often seen perched near the adult male on a wire near the nest. I assumed then that the female was seldom seen because she was searching for food for the other nestlings I could hear inside the nestbox. Now... the mystery. Why did she die in the box after successfully getting one of her young birds on the wing?
The second surprise was the feather (one on each side) with the white tip. I have never before seen a Violet-green Swallow (nor any photos of one) with this mark.