Return of the Tree Swallows

This gallery contains 5 photos. We spotted no fewer than 20 Tree Swallows on the outskirts of Iona Beach Regional Park on March 8. These beautiful and very approachable little birds (I’m 5-6 feet away) afforded me many opportunities and time to photograph them — some 450+ photos and over an hour spent in one location.


Tree Swallows like this one purposely flew over and roosted on the wire fence in front of the inner ponds (and photographers) for 10-15 minutes. This one was intensely curious about the birders and shutterbugs–enough to forgo aerial maneuvers and the search for yummy insects (and there were plenty of those, too).


With the warm un-winter-like weather earlier this year, these accomplished aerialists (some of whom swooped just a couple of feet from our heads) were almost three weeks ahead of their scheduled arrival in Vancouver. We generally don’t see them until late March to early April, although some birders have reported seeing a few as early as the first week of February.


These last two photos were taken on March 31. This is my FOY (First of Year) female Tree Swallow. Females are predominantly grey with hints of cobalt blue in their feathers. We passed right under her, and she did not even flinch, but stared at us from time to time while going about her business of perching and stretching.


The female Tree Swallows seem to be even more nonchalant than their male counterparts. This is the second female that I photographed who could give two hoots about the humans walking around.




11 thoughts on “Return of the Tree Swallows

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