Violet-green Swallows Are House Hunting

by Larry Jordan on May 8, 2012

Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) photos by Larry Jordan

About a week ago I began seeing Violet-green Swallows (Tachycineta thalassina) flying overhead. The year before last, I was fortunate to have Violet-green Swallows nesting in one of my birdhouses but they also nested in this same oak tree last year.

I noticed the female (above) and male (below) flying around and perching near this oak that has several good cavity nesting holes.

This one oak tree has two very popular cavity entrances, one on the East side of the tree and one on the West side. The photographs taken above were snapped a couple of hours before sunset when I first spotted the swallows about a week ago.

I decided this past Sunday to check out the tree in the early morning light having seen some of the swallows approaching an entrance on the East side of the tree.

Not only was I lucky enough to see a pair of Violet-green Swallows enter the tree cavity several times, I saw them carrying nesting material into the cavity entrance as well.

Nest building activity for many species occurs primarily in the morning so my experience has been that this is the best time of day to observe this behavior, plus the light is best for photographing the bird’s activities in the morning.

From the back, this bronze-headed swallow at the cavity entrance looks like the female…

as she disappears into the tree cavity.

I shot some video of the pair as they checked out the nest cavity and perched near the entrance. I hope you enjoy it!

I know you will enjoy seeing the other bird photos at World Bird Wednesday!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Vita Stunder May 8, 2012 at 6:42 am

Amazing photography!
Vita Stunder´s last post ..Trana i kvällsljus


TexWisGirl May 8, 2012 at 6:59 am

very handsome birds. what a great nest site.
TexWisGirl´s last post ..If Polly was a crow, she’d want a cracker…


Mama Zen May 8, 2012 at 7:17 am

What gorgeous birds! Fantastic series.
Mama Zen´s last post ..D-Day: Another Vacation Question


Modesto Viegas (Portugal) May 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

Very good post!!!
Modesto Viegas (Portugal)´s last post ..Salamandra-de-costelas-salientes


springman May 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

Wonderfully done Larry! What a pleasure to see these swallows working with a natural nesting site. That is one cool looking knot hole too!


HansHB May 8, 2012 at 10:09 am

Happy World Bird Wednesday!


Sallie (FullTime-Life) May 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

What lovely neighbors you have Larry! Beautiful pictures.
Sallie (FullTime-Life)´s last post ..SPRING ALARM


Boom & Gary May 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

Great series on the Swallow!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
Boom & Gary´s last post ..Still Hiking A New Trail Of The Vermilon River. A Post to MWT and WBW.


nature rambles May 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

Such beauties! I loved the house hunting video too!!
nature rambles´s last post ..Birds at Wagah


Andrew May 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

Beautiful birds to see Larry your images are fantastic… many thanks for sharing as I don’t have them over here.
Andrew´s last post ..Magpies…………………………………………………………… on a lovely peaceful day


Mick May 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

A great series of photos. It’s very good that you have a nest in a place that lets you see and photograph the birds so well.
Mick´s last post ..White-faced Heron


Dave May 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Larry what a wonderful Swallow species this is, and not one that I have come across before – even as part of my armchair birding.
Dave´s last post ..Venezuela – Part 5 Cerro Montalban & Mt San Isidro


Eileen May 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Larry, they are beautiful birds. It is cool to have them nesting in your yard. I was lucky to see them around Yellowstone one year. Great post and I loved the photos.
Eileen´s last post ..Saffron Finch a Curacao Bird


Ken Schneider May 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

They certainly are beautiful, and so graceful in flight. I had a pair nesting in a box in my front yard in New Mexico. They fought off Western Bluebirds and an Ash-throated Flycatcher to keep the prize.


Mia McPherson May 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Wow, how awesome to have these beautiful swallows nesting in your yard!
Mia McPherson´s last post ..Semipalmated Plover – How to get Sandy Pants


NatureStop May 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Lovely birds!!!Thanks for sharing.



Hanne Bente May 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Incredibly beautiful pictures you show.
Wishing you a good day.
Hanne Bente /
Hanne Bente´s last post ..Egern


Arija May 9, 2012 at 4:34 am

A lovely photo-story of these handsome birds setting up house.
I look forward to their continued story.
Arija´s last post ..WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY – A Mixed Bag


Pat May 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

How exciting that will be to watch the nest activity!
Pat´s last post ..Where the Wild Grapes Grow


Liz May 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

Cute little birds! That green is beautiful.
Liz´s last post ..World Bird Wednesday:Black Swan family


Jean May 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Larry, Seeing those beautiful Swallows nesting in a natural tree cavity is truly special. Thanks for sharing them with us!
Jean´s last post ..My Carolina Wren’s Nest


Jill May 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Great post, Larry! I love the nest material photos and the one coming out of the cavity. So much fun to watch birds house hunt 🙂 Great photos!


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