Barn swallows are abundant in the United States and most parts of the world. They prefer to live in semi-open country and typically build their mud nests on human structures, such as barns, eaves, garages, under bridges, and so on. It is rare to find them in natural habitats. So it is special to have some small colonies in the Preserve, where barn swallows nest in the sheltered crevices of the vertical cliff near Raymer’s Cove.
Arlene Koziol photographed how both parents feed their babies, stuffing insects into gaping beaks. The nestlings leave the nest after about 3 weeks. The barn swallows dart gracefully low over the ground or water surface and catch insects in flight. Their long tail is deeply forked, and they dazzle the observer with their flashy cobalt blue upper parts. See Arlene’s Flickr site.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors