Swallow Nest 2

Swallow Diary

Monday June 26 Babies are wiggling, can barely hold their heads up on skinny necks. Both parents caring for the chicks. (snapshot18) Hot afternoon, no need to set on the babies to keep them warm. When not feeding them, the last one tending them sits in the door hole.
Tuesday June 27 Babies look bigger, wiggling more, still can’t hold their heads up long. Both parents feeding and caring for the chicks. Dad brought another feather to the nest. Early afternoon, one parent showed up with a (live) insect that was almost bigger than the chicks. The chicks were under the feathers and it puzzled the parent, who was making little scratchy sounds. Didn’t see any response from the kids, so it hopped up in the door hole and probably ate the bug. Evening thunderstorm and rain. Wet swallow parents trading places in and out of the nest bringing food and snuggling on the chicks, babies mostly under the feathers.
Wednesday June 28 Babies are growing fast, starting to get a darker “V” on their backs (snapshot19) both parents busy feeding one end and cleaning up what comes out the other end. By late afternoon the “V” had turned into a “Y” on their backs, I swear we can see them growing.
Thursday June 29 Babies have darker “Y” mark on backs (snapshot20) busy parents feeding and cleaning. By evening they had more down feathers. Watched the parents dealing with a loose feather in the nest (kept sticking on top of the adult’s head.)
Friday June 30 Babies are nearly covered in down, dark stripes over lighter colors. Can hold heads up better and longer. (snapshot 21) All mouths open when parent arrives with food. Eyes still closed. They spread out over the bottom of the nest box on their own now during the heat of the day. Sometimes sleeping with heads against the side of the box with mouths half open, half buried in the feathers that dad keeps bringing. Eyes are not open yet, but they must have good hearing.
Saturday July 1 Babies are bigger, fuzzier and holding heads up well (snapshot22). One stretched out and could see how long and well developed the legs have gotten. They flopped all over the the box during the heat of the day, but as it cooled off they snuggled down in the feathered bowl of the nest. Eyes still not open, but looking more like eyes than dark bumps.
Sunday July 2 Swallow chicks nearly covered in down feather and starting to grow wing feathers, eyes still closed. Noticed this afternoon they have sprouted tiny tail feathers. Very active in the nest today. Pretty hot today.

Monday July 3 Swallow chicks look like little birds now, covered in down, eyes still closed (snapshot23). They were huddled together in the nest this morning, and as soon as it warmed up they wiggled around and spread out. Short video 450pm (Capture(0)) 86 degrees.
Tuesday July 4 Swallow chicks have longer feathers on wings and tails, very active, eyes not open yet. (snapshot25). Babies are attempting to “preen” their new feathers (must be itchy.) One has extra long tufts of down feathers on its head like Bozo. They can rear up high enough that mom can feed the bigger ones from the door hole. Lots of work to keep the nest clean from all the little poopers. 11pm at night and still a lot of wiggling and movement in the nest. Mom can’t get any rest. (snapshot26a) Constant motion in the nest 1135pm (capture(1)) video.
Wednesday July 5 Swallow chicks appear to have little eye slits this morning. (snapshot27) Cheeping loudly. Seem to always be in motion.
Thursday July 6 Swallow chicks fill the bottom of the box when the spread out. (snapshot28) Seem to have a little more coordination. Another hot day today, babies spread out over the bottom of the box, but constantly in motion. By evening their eyes were open even more. Wing feathers are growing fast.
Friday July 7 Swallow chicks looking more like their parents, white feathers on undersides, eyes open more. Very alert and in constant motion. (snapshot29) By late afternoon the biggest chick was climbing up to look out the door hole.
Saturday July 8 Chicks pretty much have their body feathers grown in, wings and tail feathers getting longer – and when wings are open they span the width of the box. The biggest one spends a lot of time in the door hold (probably gets fed more too!)
Sunday July 9 Chicks are large and active. The biggest one is in the door hole most of the time. Once in a while another chick will climb up and attempt to join its sibling in the door (door hole guy gets fed the most.) Parent will push the kid out of the door to feed the others once in a while. Another very hot day. At noon all 5 chicks were active, but by 1230pm the smallest one had perished. The other 4 are still very active in the heat. (snapshot30)

Monday July 10 The 4 remaining chicks seem to be doing well, hopping up in the door hole to be fed. (snapshot 31) Once in a while a parent comes in to clean the box but they can’t keep up with the waste now. Camera lens is getting dusty. Both parents were in the box early afternoon, very crowded in there. Adults having a hard time exiting the box with chicks blocking the door hole. Chick’s wings reach back to the base of the tail feathers now, a little more than half the size of their parents. The chicks are on their own tonight, they take up all the room in the box. They are starting to sleep with head under wing (for brief moments at a time) still itchy and twitchy.
Tuesday July 11 The 4 chicks are very active, trying out wings inside nest. (snapshot32) Adults are “group feeding” – several are going box to box to feed what ever chick is in a door hole. Their wing feathers now reach to the tip of their tails. They never sit still long, evening when sleeping at 1am. (capture(2))
Wednesday July 12 The swallow chick’s wing feathers are long enough to cross at the tips, their tail feathers longer. Growing so fast. They are not old enough to recognize “food” yet on their own, ignoring a bug that is inside the nest. (snapshot33) After it cooled off this evening both parents came to feed them inside the box. The chicks darn near swallow the parent’s heads along with the bug! Video of feeding and removing waste at 827pm. (Capture(3))
Thursday July 13 The swallow chick’s wing feathers reach to the end off their tail feathers this morning. Two can fit in the door hole side by side with a third trying to get its face in the hole too. Very hot day, babies looked hot, mouths open and panting. Looking better at dusk – cooled off a little. Sleeping in a pile at 1am. (snapshot34)
Friday July 14 The 4 swallow chicks are still in the box, but they sure want out. Spotted a fledgling on top of the box, smaller than the adults. It flew around a little and went to sit on a different box. Chick’s wing feathers are still growing out fast. They spend most of their time preening and begging. (snapshot35) (Last year the young left the nest on July 14.) Seeing newly fledged swallows perched on the power line, they are a little smaller than adults and preening a lot.
Saturday July 15 All 4 chicks still in the box this morning. Seeing more fledglings out, perched on boxes or power lines. First chick launched a little before 2pm, three remaining in the box. Pretty hot day, they had their mouths open and resting more. During the evening there was a bug (like a giant mosquito) flying and crawling around but the chicks ignored it.
Sunday July 16 There are still 3 chicks in the box this morning. One launched out the door around 1030am, another launched right at 11am. Now one chick left and has the door hole to itself. The last one left before 5pm. Empty nest. Lots of poop on the bottom of the box (parents gave up on cleaning nest a few days ago.)

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Swallow Diary June 18-26

Sunday June 18 Female tight on the nest this morning, not many swallows flying, males seem to be elsewhere. Tossed a couple feathers this morning, no takers. Male returned, went into the nest and the female came in and pecked at him until he left. Female is on the eggs most of the time, but will sit in the door hole or fly off (probably hunting a snack.)

Monday June 19 Adding feathers to the nest this morning (snapshot12) Flock of swallows swooping low over the yard looking for feathers. I think more of the males have returned.

Tuesday June 20 Mama still setting her eggs. More swallows around this morning, swooping for feathers and bugs. Mama swallow getting off eggs more frequently and hanging out in door hole during the heat of the day (and panting.) Still taking feathers to the nests (think its the males?) Female on the nest not too bothered by weed eater under her – in the broody mode.

Wednesday June 21 Mama still setting her eggs. Lots of swallows swooping and calling this morning, taking feathers to nest. Male swallow brought feather to female, then jumped on her, she fought him off and setting eggs. Flock swooping for feathers to add to their nests.

Thursday June 22 Mama still setting her eggs, appeared that the male came in and took a short turn setting the eggs. Female on the eggs most of the time, but also spending time sitting in the door hole. Flock swooping for feathers and adding to nest.

Friday June 23 Both swallows taking turns setting on eggs. The male even tweets to the eggs. He leaves when she comes back. The flock was swooping for feathers during the day (who can resist tossing more when they practically follow you around the yard?) Barn cat ducks and hides, they target him!

Saturday June 24 Female on the eggs this morning. The flock was swooping at me for feathers, clicking at me as they flew by (wanting feathers!) There are a lot of new feathers in the nest in the last couple of days. Hot afternoon, parents not on the eggs as much (snapshot13).

Sunday June 25 Three eggs hatched this morning, little pink squiggles. (snapshot14) Male is poking food at them – video (capture.mpg) 4th egg hatched before noon (snapshot16). Watched the last egg hatching just before 7pm (snapshot17). Male took the empty shell halves out the door.

Monday June 26 Babies are wiggling, can barely hold their heads up on skinny necks. Both parents caring for the chicks. (snapshot18) Hot afternoon, no need to set and keep them warm. When not feeding them, the last one tending them sits in the door hole.

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