Violet-green Swallows Feeding Nestlings

by Larry Jordan on July 10, 2010

Violet-green Swallow Nestling photos by Larry Jordan

This Violet-green Swallow nestling was looking for its breakfast this morning when I went out at 6:00 a.m. to check on them.  The sun was just coming up over the horizon and this young bird was looking to fill that creamy gape with some flying insects.

Of course he or she can’t fly so this little one is waiting for one of its parents to feed it.  I caught the male briefly sitting on the fence before bringing his bounty to the table.

as the female was taking a well deserved break

It was a very busy morning in and around the nearby oaks.  House Finch juveniles were chirping in the background as Black-headed Grosbeak juveniles joined in the chorus, seemingly trying to drown out the nestlings pleas.

A young Oak Titmouse was foraging nearby and decided to investigate the nest box that looks exactly like the place he was recently born.

The Violet-green Swallows looked on from the fence, not seeming to mind.  But that Oak Titmouse was sure surprised when it came face to face with a gaping nestling and flew off for safer ground.

The next intruder on the swallow’s territory wasn’t so well received.  This Ash-throated Flycatcher was a bit too much for the Violet-green Swallow pair and they drove him off.

The short feeding break was over and the adults got back to their feeding duties.  I shot a video of the female Violet-green Swallow feeding the nestling.  It’s less than a minute long but you can see the nestling watching the adult as he flies around in front of the nest box before actually delivering the food.

The food delivery itself doesn’t take long so don’t blink around the 40 second mark!

In case you missed it, here is a photo series of the male feeding one of the nestlings.  The approach…

note the white rump patches coming up the sides that help distinguish this swallow from the Tree Swallow in flight

and the food transfer

followed by the departure, too quick for the camera

Wanna see more great bird photos?  Check out Bird Photography Weekly!

dreamfalcon July 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

You got some cool captures there – and that feeding part is very fast!
I love the green-blue back of the male, wonderful.
.-= dreamfalcon´s last blog ..Short hike in the Toggenburg =-.

Mick July 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Great photos – again! The feeding sequence is terrific. Did you shoot in burst mode? The description of the other birds visiting the nest box was very interesting.
.-= Mick´s last blog ..Shorebirds =-.

Jill July 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

these are all great, Larry! But i really really love that first head on shot- super cute! Nice Ash-throated too!
.-= Jill´s last blog ..Its the Snow Plant =-.

bob k July 12, 2010 at 1:48 am

Once again, great shots documenting the parenting behavior of the Violet-Green Swallows, Larry! I’m glad the parents were able to ward off the intruders.
.-= bob k´s last blog ..Bittern Medicine =-.

NatureFootstep July 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm

this is so great. And this swallow we don´t have. It must be special to be able to watch it like this. 🙂
.-= NatureFootstep´s last blog ..Hussvala – Delichon urbica – House Martin in Camargue =-.

Wren July 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm

That nestling is just the cutest little thing, Larry! You are so lucky to have them close by to watch. Thank you for sharing your great birds with us – the head motion in the video reminded me of a cat watching tennis on TV.
.-= Wren´s last blog ..north dakota towns my world =-.

Crafty Green Poet July 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

what a lovely bird and such wonderful photos. The video is amazing, such an alert little nestling!
.-= Crafty Green Poet´s last blog ..Black Flood =-.

Halcyon July 13, 2010 at 5:28 am

How sweet! Amazing that you are able to capture all this on film and share it. Birds are such fascinating creatures.

Amber Coakley July 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Hi Larry! Long time, no visit! It’s good to be back browsing your posts. That first photo is the most adorable thing I’ve seen today. What a great series of photos, and a video too. Better be careful, or we’ll all be expecting pics and video every time. 🙂
.-= Amber Coakley´s last blog ..Southern Pink Moth =-.

Amber July 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I love the sequence shots Larry! What a treat to be able to experience this intimate behavior through your amazing photos. Thanks for sharing.

Lana July 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I wish all I had to do was stand at the doorway with my mouth open! *L* Nice shots. 🙂
.-= Lana´s last blog ..RAK &amp New Fledglings =-. December 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Love the Myiarchus! That seems to be a bird that doesn’t gets it’s fair shake in the bird photography realm. You are so lucky to have Violet-green Swallows using your boxes…spectacular!

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