Thursday, May 17, 2007

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) build their nests of mud and straw heavily lined with feathers and plaster the nests on walls or ledges of buildings, under bridges, or occasionally on cliffs or in caves. The image (by Brad Dalton) shows a Barn Swallow sitting on a nest under the bridge at U.S. Hwy 78 where it crosses Four Holes Swamp. The nest is partially supported by the mud nursery tubes of a Mud Dauber. The tubes are likely empty of wasps as the holes indicate their escape, but the tubes certainly contain the dried husks of spiders left alive and paralyzed for the hatching larvae to eat.

Barn Swallows drink and bathe and catch most of their insect diet on the wing. They nest in colonies with yearlings and immature birds from the first clutch helping their parents.

No comments: