Busy Times on the Front Porch

Jul 25, 2018 | 0 comments

There seems to be a steady stream of summer visitors making their way to our front door these days, and not just by the usual overland route!  Mama and Papa swallow are clotting up the airways, too.  Keeping four hungry babies fed is definitely a full-time job.

On the days when people traffic is at maximum density – like during the Gordon Memorial Picnic on Monday – our little avian enclave gets pretty testy.  The babies stretch their necks right out of their nest and open those beaks in a frenzy of expectation.  The adult swallows swoop around just beyond the overhanging porch roof, waiting their opportunity.  Closer and closer they dart toward the offensive humans – not threatening exactly, but certainly demanding.

I have not been loathe to remind those two adults that we tried to warn them.  The lintel above our front door is not a good place for raising babies.  That was during nest-building season last year.  Nyel took a more direct approach than my verbal warnings.  He flat-out knocked down each attempt before even the foundation was completed.  But, clever contractors that they are, they re-doubled their efforts (maybe called in an extra crew) and in one single day while we were away, their nest was completed and Mama swallow was ensconced by the time we returned.

We knew they would be back this year and, though Nyel threatened to get rid of the nest before they arrived, he somehow never got around to it.  I suspect there’s a soft spot in there somewhere but don’t say I said so. Plus, the builders had carefully placed that nest at the far end of the door frame so their droppings aren’t directly in the path of our comings and goings.  Thoughtful, I pointed out.

After the last guest had gone Monday and I was doing a little tidying up, babies and parents must have decided that they could cope with a single person.  Either that or getting food to those hungry quadruplets meant throwing caution to the wind.  There were a couple of wonderful photo ops and when I showed those pictures to Nyel, even he was suitably impressed.  Not oohing and aahing exactly… but close.


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