Nesting swallows (III) – real little birds now

Our little chicks are developing rapidly into miniature versions of their parents! Their wing feathers are almost completely in, although the tails are still stubby little markers for the graceful long forked tails of adulthood.

Pile of chicks

Stubby swallow tails!

As I stand quietly in the shade of the opposite doorway, one of the parents checks me out carefully. No doubt I’d have been in trouble if I tried to approach the nest more closely.

Parent checks me out

Parent checks me out

He/she was also offering me a nice view of the subtle colouring on the chest, and the underwing. I really can’t tell without seeing the tail whether this is Mum or Dad. We have strapped up a security camera on a coat rack, which gives us a view of the activity on the nest without encroaching on their privacy. It’s wide-angle, so not quite the resolution we’d like, but, hey, not bad for an impromptu nest cam! Here are some examples:

As the chicks grow, they seem increasingly crowded on the nest. They’re kind of piled up on top of each other by now.

Just like real birds

Just like real birds

Which makes it all the harder for them to be testing out their wings in preparation for the big first flight, which must surely be coming any day now. I watched one climb to the top of the pile and flap away for a while, somewhat hampered by its siblings.

Stretching wings

Stretching wings

And after its workout, a little stretch and a preening session to take care of the feathers!

Preening

Preening

 

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