Tree Swallow In A Dive Bombing Run

by Larry Jordan on September 9, 2009

Tree Swallow In A Dive Bombing Run photo by Larry Jordan

The Tree Swallows on my bluebird trail have a tendency to dive bomb the person (me) checking their nest boxes.  This is a photo I captured this last spring when the Tree Swallows were nesting.  A more thorough post on Tree Swallows can be found here.  You will also want to check out the other skywatch photos at Skywatch Friday!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Klaus September 10, 2009 at 4:14 am

That is a great get! These guys are so difficult to shoot!


Larry September 10, 2009 at 5:21 am

@Klaus you are right, they are a challenge. Checking their nest boxes once or twice a week gave me plenty of attempts at photographing “dive bombing” runs. I finally got some good shots.

Next spring I will try my 70-300mm lens rather than the 80-400mm. The 300m lens has a much faster auto focus and these birds are fast!


Faye September 10, 2009 at 5:53 am

I love your photos. I do want to know how big burrow owls get.


James September 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

That is a really great shot!
.-= James´s last blog ..Skywatch Doppelgänger =-.


Wren September 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Great photo, Larry.
I love swallows – they are pure joy on the wing. and yes, they’d be great at playing chicken, because they will come REALLY close and never blink.
.-= Wren´s last blog ..Wheel of Brisbane – Skywatch =-.


Larry September 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm

@Faye, Burrowing Owls stand about 9 1/2″ tall but they will fit through a 4″ pipe. Their legs contribute to about one-third of their height. They have a 21″ wingspan and weight a mere 6 ounces.

@James thank you for the comment. I love your reflection shot

@Wren they are truly “joy on the wing.” What a great description!


Owlfarmer September 11, 2009 at 4:42 am

Thanks for stopping by the Farm, Larry–though no doubt you were attracted by the owl connection. I love the swallow shot–another of those against-the-backdrop “uses” of the sky.

As songbirds disappear from north Texas, I find myself more and more saddened by the loss of old favorites–birds of all sorts that used to grace my life (slate-colored juncoes, song sparrows). Knowing about this website is going to help; it’s good to see that so many folks are working on the problem.
.-= Owlfarmer´s last blog ..Skywatch Friday: Pirate Balloon =-.


Eileen September 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Awesome photo of the swallow and very pretty sky.
.-= Eileen´s last blog ..Skywatch Friday =-.


Arija September 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm

What a catch! I’d love to howe some in nesting boxes.
.-= Arija´s last blog ..SkyWatch ~ 50 Western Sky at Sunrise =-.


Larry September 12, 2009 at 5:30 am

@Candace thank you for stopping by. A friend of mine and fellow birder and conservationist is also from Texas, you may want to stop by Amber’s blog at Birders Lounge

@Eileen thank you very much

@Arija the Tree Swallow readily takes to nest boxes. I guess in Australia you have the Welcome Swallow that will breed near people but don’t use nest boxes


Michele J September 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Whoa, what a great shot. I hope you ducked just as this fella came at ya?!! This is fantastic!
.-= Michele J´s last blog ..Snow Kissed Alps =-.


Larry September 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm

@Michele when I first started raising Tree Swallows, you bet I ducked! Now, I just look ’em in the eye when they come in and am amazed at their grace


Gallicissa September 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Larry, when I saw that picture I was unhappy and happy. Unhappy that I have been unable to capture such amazing flight shots all these years as I have been ‘struck’ with digiscoping. And happy that this will soon change…..with me ‘seeking treatment’ for the condition that I am in.
.-= Gallicissa´s last blog ..Description of Acute Paucity of Bird Posts Syndrome (APOBPS), its diagnosis, treatment and stuff like that in relation to a bird blog in Sri Lanka =-.


Larry September 13, 2009 at 9:05 pm

@Amila I have heard of your condition and I think you will be happy with the ensuing treatment 😉 I can’t wait to see your upcoming BIRD flight shots


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