A pair of barn swallows returned to our garage in the spring, rebuilt the nest on the garage door opener, and raised a brood of five which fledged June 30th. The fledglings returned to the nest for awhile, and then began spending their nights somewhere else. The parents quickly went to work to refurbish the nest and begin the process all over. August 2nd the new batch hatched—another five chicks! We can all gasp at how much work this is for those parents, daily catching enough bugs on the wing to feed themselves and their second brood of the season. But it’s pay-back time: the June chicks, now full-sized barn swallows at two months of age, are pitching in. In and out, in and out, all day and evening long, the two parents and brood of teenagers feed and clean up after the new brood of babies.
Everyone is in a hurry—in a few weeks they all need to join the fall migration to somewhere in South America. All of them! Including this mess of barely birds!
I’m out of breath just writing about it.