You Have to Be Swift to See Swallows!

This gallery contains 5 photos. The gorgeous Tree Swallow has iridescent blue-green feathers. A fast flyer, it was almost as difficult to photograph as the hummingbirds! This male is just taking off for more aerial maneuvers.

Tree Swallow in Flight

Difficult, except for the times when it stopped to perch atop one of many nesting boxes located near the “shorelines” of many a pond in the Reifel Migratory Bird sanctuary. There was a “bonus” yellow jacket on the number of the nesting box — these predatory wasps chew the wood to make their own nests.

Tree Swallow and Yellow Jacket Wasp

Swallows used to be a very common sight in Delta, BC, but the widespread use of insecticides has made their primary food source — insects — hard to come by, and contributed to the swallows’ decline, except in sanctuaries like this. TENDER MOMENT ALERT! The fledgling signals his mother (in gray) that he wants food (“feed me, mom!”)

Tree Swallow and Mother -- Feed Me, Mom

She acknowledges by feeding him (his blue colours are just coming into his plumage, giving him a scruffy, adolescent look).

Tree Swallow Feed Session

And here’s either an adult male displaying for a female, or unable to keep his balance on the nesting box. It’s difficult to tell if she’s trying to steady him with her right claws, or push him off!

Tree Swallow trying to fly


11 thoughts on “You Have to Be Swift to See Swallows!

  1. I have a tree swallow nesting for the second time this year in my bluebird box. I miss my bluebirds but I am also intrigued by the swallow. And you are right, they are so very difficult to shoot in flight. Wonderful to watch their aerial performances! BTW, thanks for the follow. Returning the favor…

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for sharing — you are sooo lucky!! we had purple martins nesting in the backyard many many years ago, but “thanks” to the use of pesticides in the area, their numbers have dwindled 😦 to the point that a restoration project had to be implemented to bring them back (which they have done, but in small numbers).


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