Tuesday, April 20, 2010

(Day 110) No, this isn't San Juan Capistrano ...

... but they've come back. Our tree swallows (I'm no bird expert, but I know how to use google) are busy swooping around the yard trying to decide who gets the swallow house attached to the shed and who gets to make one of the houses around the pond their home this year. I've counted what appear to be 3 couples taking turns checking out the digs. I'm not sure if they pull straws or how they decide, but they alternate poking their little heads inside to see if last year's furnishings are suitable for them or not.

I sat in the backyard watching them for a while and it seemed that about every 15 minutes or so they would return from (presumably) feasting on the already abundant bugs to resume the ritual of checking out the houses. For all I know it's a courtship ritual and they're actually checking each other out! What I do know for sure is that eventually the couples settle down, have a brood, and get down to the almost non-stop activity of feeding the hungry ones. I hope to 'shoot' them when that time arrives.

(70-200mm  f11  1/400 sec  ISO200)















(70-200mm  f5.6  1/800 sec  ISO200)

16 comments:

Don said...

Nice shots! Especially the second one.

Photog Ave said...

Yes, #2 is great!
They are very pretty birds. I hope you continue to watch them and get more pictures. And hopefully you will have better luck than I did ;)

Looking forward to more shots!
['รด ] Avery

Anonymous said...

They don't even look real. How come you can't make us look that good? :)

Scott said...

This will be fun to watch. I like the second one best too.

darlin said...

Well Rick, you did it again! Amazing, totally amazing! These birds are so beautiful, God sure is a great artist, filling the world with beauty all around us, it's breathtaking.

And don't you just love how google gives us all sorts of information right at our fingertips, that in itself is astounding... remember TelStar? Black and white TV and a party line telephone? I wonder what ever became of the encyclopedia salesman? I'll google it! lol

Katherine said...

Wow wee these are amazing .. it isn't easy shooting pics of birds in flight and the one with the wings spanned out...is just beautiful! What a life filled back yard you have! Lovely pictures Rick!

Raspashoj said...

Great shots!
I love the second one.

Julia said...

WOW!!!!!! Those are amazing shots! Which lens did you try out for those shots? I know that it may say it somewhere, but I don't understand.

Rick said...

@Don - thank you.

Rick said...

@Avery - thanks Avery. We're keeping a close eye on our cat (I kinda like to spray her with water if she gets too close to the bird houses :)

Rick said...

@Anonymous - yep, they're real alright. C'mon over and I'll see what I can do about a photographic 'makeover' :)

Rick said...

@Scott - thanks; hopefully we'll have a brood (or 2) to follow.

Rick said...

@darlin - thank you. Yes, amazing beauty all around us, if our eyes are 'open' to it. And I agree about the internet - wonderful (thanks Al Gore. NOT!). I remember b&w TV and 13 channels and rabbit ears, and the party line too (early form of entertainment for youngsters).

Rick said...

@Katherine - thank you; it's why I love living in the country :) I sat and waited a while to get that 2nd shot - timing just worked out right.

Rick said...

@Raspashoj - thank you for your comment.

Rick said...

@Julia - thanks Julia. I used the large lens (70-200mm) plus the 2x extender I just got - works real well!