Monday, May 4, 2009
This is one of my favorite things. Birds. In the front yard of our house, we have a birdhouse and two feeders. My dad made the birdhouse and gave it to me one year for Christmas. It's made out of really old wood from a fence on my grandpa's farm. It was outside for 2-3 years before any birds showed interest in it. Now, this is the third season we've had these fantastic Tree Swallows living in it. They come in the spring, around the end of April. It usually takes them a week or two to decide they want to stay, but this year in only a few days, they've already begun to gather grass and things to build their nest inside.
These are pictures from the year before last. They had three babies that year.
Last summer, when we left on vacation at the end of June, there were eggs in the nest - quite close to hatching. When we came home a week later, the house was turned to the side. The birds were gone and there were some feathers floating around the yard. We aren't sure what happened. News from one of the neighbors is that she found a little boy on our front porch digging things out of the house and she shewed him away. We also suspected a cat that wanders the neighborhood. At the end of the summer, I decided to clean out the house and found that there were dead baby birds inside, very tiny. Whatever had disturbed the house, caused our Tree Swallows to leave and their newly hatched babies died. Isn't that sad? I'm really happy to see them back this year. I wasn't sure they would give it another try. I've done a lot of reading online about them, their habits, the length of time between the eggs being laid and hatching (about 2 weeks) and how long they stay in the nest before they leave (2-3 weeks). I'm hoping it will all work out this year and I'm anxious to get some good pictures.
One thing I read is that sometimes, you can toss feathers in the air for these birds and they will swoop down and catch them before they hit the ground and then take them into their nest. We tried it last year and it totally worked. It was so much fun! Today, as I've watched them gathering dry grass from the ground, I've decided to go find some feathers for them and scatter them on the front lawn. Aren't I nice? I'll keep you posted!
Posted by StandsMom at 8:35 AM