Bird of the Week – Tree Swallow

These guys are the size of a large cigar with wings; shiny blue on top and white on the underside. Tree swallows live near water or wet fields where they can chase after bugs through the air, catching their food “on the wing”.  You’re also sure to spot these skilled aerial feeders perched in long rows on wires by the road. Or if you happen to be extra lucky like myself, you get to watch them raising their young, bringing in food and taking away poop, in a nest box in the backyard. They nest in tree cavities too, which is where they get their names – other swallows will build nests out of mud.

Even though Tree swallows feed on insects, they do supplement their diets with plants (buds, young leaves). This is pretty handy especially since they return to us long before other swallow species do, when insects (like mosquitoes!) aren’t plentiful – yet.

 

Posted by: Ewa Bednarczuk

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