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Tag Archives: swallows

Speaking of motherhood, and fatherhood, a pair of Mountain Bluebirds has chosen one of our nest boxes to set up housekeeping. This is very exciting! Normally both Mountain and Western Bluebirds nest reasonably far away from our house so we see them only on our walks or at the bird bath. The box they’ve chosen is attached to the bottom of our deck and easily seen from inside the house and from the porch so we get to see them often. The Violet-green Swallows who have traditionally used this box are not happy.

The hills are still covered with snow. And the floors in the house are covered with grit. My car is covered with mud. Yesterday it was almost sixty degrees, Fahrenheit. And there is snow in this week’s forecast. Spring officially, is only one week away. This is Mud Season.

The girls and I try to get out and walk early when the snow is hard enough to support our weight. Sometimes it supports them but not me. If we are late, then we only have muddy, and in shady places icy, roads to walk on. Yesterday we ran into our friends Frida, Quincy and Mary Ann, also hoping to find a good place to walk. It is a challenge this time of year.

Migratory birds are arriving everyday. One person has already seen a hummingbird in the valley so I put out a feeder. Both bluebirds, Say’s Phoebes, American Robins, Violet-green Swallows and other migrants are already here. They certainly think it’s spring.

Some days it feels like spring even with all the snow in the background.

Spring is the time to clean out the nest boxes around here. We enjoy the birds year ’round and especially like to have secure places for them to nest and raise their young before moving on. Violet-green Swallows and Tree Swallows, Mountain and Western Bluebirds are all nesting birds we like to encourage. Unfortunately we have learned that the diminutive House Wrens will wreak havoc on other nesting birds, especially the swallows. The tiny wrens will fill a box with sticks, even if there is already another nest present and they’ve been know to attack and kill the bigger swallows. It’s a tough world out there.


Fence post yard art


Pulling out an old swallow nest


The Mountain Chickadees followed us and kept up a running dialogue on our efforts


Ken points to a tiny skeleton of a baby bird that did not fledge


Here is a beautiful swallow nest lined with soft feathers. The adults collect these feathers to provide a cushy setting for the eggs and babies.


There’s one of those chickadees. They do not use our nest boxes for nesting although they do use them for winter night roosts.



 More yard art, this time in the snow


This tiny chickadee must have been sick and died over the winter in one of the boxes.


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