Day 214: Not Ready to Leave the Nest

Ok, to try and make a long story short, we’ve “rescued” the baby barn swallows about four times since my previous post. Maybe we should just let nature take its course, but I can’t watch as the babies tumble out of their nest and sit helplessly on our concrete patio, unable to fly. So yesterday evening I made them a nest on the patio with a beach towel, because 4 of the 5 babies were back on the ground. Without Jerod’s help, there was no way I could put them back in their nest.

In an attempt to get the little guys in their new nest, the biggest one took off … toward the pond. I chased after him and watched as he landed right in the middle of the pond – head first. I watched in horror thinking I’d killed this innocent creature, but after many long seconds he started flopping across the water in the opposite direction. He finally made it to a rock just off shore, and I contemplated if I should just leave him be. Then I realized he wouldn’t have a chance without his matured wings or mother. So I walked around the pond and contemplated again what to do. I could use the glove, but if I didn’t get a firm grip he’d jump back in the water. So I reached out and grabbed him in with my bare hand, wrapped him in a small towel, and took him back to my patio and put him in the “nest” with the rest of the birds.

As of this morning, all 4 were still in the new nest, and mama bird had been flying by with pre-digested food for them. They get so excited every time she comes! This photo is much cuter than the one I’d previously taken … so I’m sharing yet another barn swallow photo with you today. And possibly again tomorrow.

Four baby barn swallows chirp and open wide, waiting for mama bird to feed them. They’re resting on my homemade nest since they keep falling out of the real one.

Day 212: Hero of the Day

Yesterday morning I went outside to water my flowers, and a few seconds later I was frantically waking Jerod up. One of our baby barn swallows had fallen about 12 feet out of its nest onto our concrete patio. Since it wasn’t moving I was sure it didn’t survive, but when I got closer I saw that he was still breathing. So Jerod very willingly crawled out of bed, grabbed some flip-flops, work gloves, and a step-ladder, and we coaxed the baby into his hands to return it to the nest. It took quite a while to figure out how to pick it up and slide it into the nest without harming it, but a few minutes later the mamma bird was back at the nest, and all the babies were chirping away like nothing happened.

A baby barn swallow being returned to its nest after falling out. (I snapped this picture in a hurry so the focus isn’t quite where I wanted it to be.)

Day 207: Tweety Bird

This is the second year we’ve had barn swallows make a nest on top of the dryer vent on our patio. A couple of days ago at least two babies hatched. They’re so tiny – their heads are about half the size of a thimble! Can you see the little wisps of hair on the top of its head? (Those white feathers are part of the nest, not the bird.) Every time we venture onto our patio we’re dive-bombed by the overprotective Mom and Dad.

A baby barn swallow, only a couple days old, silently tries to call out to its mom.