Yesterday the kids were sitting on the rafter, fluttering wings and twitching tails and trying to figure out how things are supposed to work.
Today they jumped off, and took to the air. They have the straight forward 'thing' figured out... it's the landings and the steering that are a little bit unreliable. They come screaming through the stable aisle, shouting at their top of their tiny voices as they try to navigate. They are in short, totally adorable.
And there are not four, but FIVE of them. Well done, Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow. That's a lot of hungry mouths to feed!
By this evening, they had managed to decipher the program to land on the gate. By tomorrow, they will be experts.
And then, in another week or so, they will leave the barn and we will miss their cheerful voices.
I wish them the very best, longest and happiest of swallow lives. Barn swallow populations are down by 65% since 2008. They are now listed as endangered. People build barns and outbuildings with no place for the swallows to nest. People spray pesticides and insecticides with horrible disregard for the species that rely on those insects as a food source. The world will be terribly sadder if we lose our swallows -- and there will then be that many more insects with no hungry swallows snapping them up in heart stoppingly lovely swooping flights.
be sure that you leave some places around your properties for these birds. Keep a small source of mud available for them to use for nests. Put away the insecticides. Please. It will lead to a much better World if we can keep these species.