For several years now a pair of barn swallows have built a nest right by my back door. At first I tried to persuade them to find a new home, but we’ve worked out a mutually-agreeable arrangement. They eat bugs; I don’t freak when they swoop over my head. It’s all good.
Besides, they provide Henry with hours of entertainment. This is the first year I’ve noticed the couple actually raising babies. There are four, but one appears to be somewhat challenged. I think the other three are sitting on it in this picture:
If only I’d had a video camera the other day. Apparently mom needed a little personal space: she flew to the nest and spread herself out. When one of the babies tried to join her she spread her wings and started squawking. The poor kid was thoroughly rattled. She (just guessing about that) flew to a gutter a few feet away and sat looking at the nest with a pitiful expression.
One of the siblings landed nearby; the first little bird scooted over until they were sitting with wings touching. They exchanged a few words…(Mom’s mad. What do we do? I don’t know!) and sat there pouting. Hours later I looked out the window and there were three of them lined up on the gutter. Birdie time out, maybe?
I thought they were out of the nest for good, but a few nights ago they all piled in there to sleep. Mercy, what a racket. I don’t speak swallow, but I imagine there was a lot of “Get your beak out of my wing! Stop stepping on me! Move over!” and so on. Whatever it was, it was loud but entertaining.