We had a disappointing end to the Tree Swallows as the nest was raided by a raccoon. To make up for the backyard disaster, Nature awarded us a nest of Say’s Phoebes at the front porch. I was not able to zero in on the nest as the adults did an excellent job of putting the nest at the apex of the roof. I was too busy to capture photos of the adults as they brought in pounds of grasshoppers to feed the chicks. The adults would stop just before the nest on the railing and bash the grasshoppers into oblivion.Took the fight out of them I guess.
The adults where very good at bringing in the food. At times, dragon flies had to be broken in half and shared between two chicks. Other tidbits consisted of flies shared among all four. Yum!
We have cats, so we made sure they were locked up while the chicks where out and about watching and learning how mom caught the food.
The clothes line was a favorite place to perch while waiting for the food to arrive. These shots were taken late in the evening and just before mom herded them back to the nest for the night. The birds seemed tame as we could get within six inches of them.
Early flights proved that the fledglings were quite adept at learning how to fly. They looked like small helicopters fluttering about as they built confidence and skills. At one point, they followed mom into and around our garage. We made sure they didn’t get separated while they explored our property.
They have grown up now and left the nest. Every so often we spot them wandering around, eating more grasshoppers.
Happy birding to all!
-Harry at Bates Creek, 14 miles west of Casper, WY.