Monday, July 23, 2012

Closeups of a male Tree Swallow...

Matty and I just got back from our week of volunteering at Shawnee State Park. In addition to working with the snakes and helping in the nature center, we cleared brush, poison ivy, honeysuckle, and multiflora roses to help create a new trail that will lead from the boat ramp all the way around Turkey Lake to the lodge road. Before I post any of those photos (I got a few cool shots of interesting insects...and a Timber Rattlesnake), I thought I'd better finish off part three of the tree swallow series. In the end, the tree swallows moved on, and the house wrens went back to domestic bliss, but before the dispute ended, the male flew over close to me. I could see he was holding a wispy strand of soft nesting material in his right foot...

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material
A male Tree Swallow carries nesting material in his right foot. 

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material
...the striking metallic blue feathers on his back contrast beautifully with the white feathers on his neck, chest and belly.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material



These photos were all taken on May 7, 2012 at Magee Marsh in Toledo, Ohio. I was at the Biggest Week in American Birding festival. This is part three of the series:

Click here for part 1 (focuses on a yearling female at the nesting cavity).
Click here for part 2 (focuses on a territory dispute between two House Wrens and two Tree Swallows).

24 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

he's really beautiful. :)

Where the Fur Flies said...

Wow! Love his colour.

Elaine said...

Wonderful photos, Kelly! And so the tree swallows continued their search for their first home, probably in a more secluded neighborhood, and the house wrens shook out their ruffled feathers and got back to work on their nest building that was so rudely interrupted by the interlopers. Whew!! Quite the drama!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi kelly!!!.. I really like this litte bird.. Great shots.. Congrat and greetings from Spain

Roy said...

Great shots, Kelly! We have lots of Tree Swallows here; every time I visit the duck ponds they're swooping over the water snapping up bugs.

holdingmoments said...

What a stunning bird Kelly.
Excellent shots.

Dan Huber said...

These are stunning shots Kelly. Swallows are a bird that so often we are trying to see detail while they tear across the sky. Always a treat when they sit still for a bit.

Laure Ferlita said...

Such a beautiful contrast between the whites and the blues!! Gorgeous shots as well.

Janice K said...

Such a beautiful bird. Those white feathers look so soft they almost look like fur.

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful bird and great captures.

Roy said...

Lovely images Kelly. They are similar to the colour of the House Martins that visit UK in summer.

Hilke Breder said...

Beautiful shot, Kelly! Such a handsome bird! I always marvel at the tiny beak, which I guess is perfect for picking insects out of the air.

Larry said...

Gorgeous shots of the male Tree Swallow Kelly! The detail is incredible and difficult to get with the high contrast of the white and electric blue. I love just watching any of the swallows in flight and am lucky to have Tree Swallows nesting on one of my bluebird trails.

The previous post is equally marvelous with super shots of the House Wrens!

Montanagirl said...

They are such pretty little birds. I really like their iridescent blue coloring.

dAwN said...

Howdee Kelly! Your tree swallow posts are awesome! Fabulous photos.
I look forward to photos from your week at Shawnee.

Tammie Lee said...

they are so beautiful!

Jerry said...

One of the things I love about your blog is encountering in detail so many lovely birds that I have never seen before - often I've never even heard of. On top of that you take really superb photos of them - thanks for sharing them all!!

E said...

Beautiful, Kelly, very lovely and interesting.
Congratulations and thanks for sharing so much beauty.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

Wow what great photos.

Guy

Jayne said...

Oh, how I've missed the beauty here Kelly! Just so gorgeous my friend!

Kerri said...

These are the Best tree swallow photos I've ever seen! Superb!

Kelly said...

...thank you everyone, this fellow made the photography easy. He flew up and sat still (which is remarkable) and gave me clear shots of his gorgeous feathers. I usually chase these birds through the air with my camera...it was nice that he sat still on a branch! :-)

Chris said...

mamma mia!!! Wow these are superb shots Kelly! So sharp and colourful! Wow sumptuous and well done!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

He is sooo handsome, wonderful detailed views.