Nest Fest – Part 1

'A pair of swallows built their nest under the birdfeeder roof.'

Today I was hiking at a nature center, & I saw a family of geese passing by. The nature center is on a marsh, & Canada geese are very common there. There was a mom & dad & 3 goslings. The goslings are almost half the size of the adults. Their bodies are stumpy, fluffy, & a dirty yellow color, but their legs are just as thick as they’ll be when they are fully mature. They wander all over exploring the world, but when their parents start to move they fall right into line. I bet they never get lost. Geese with goslings to take care of can be very aggresive, but I passed within 4 feet of the geese & they didn’t show any attention to me at all, except to move slightly farther away.

There also were Barn Swallows there. There must have been 8 – 10 pairs around the building, & I’m sure there are many more in the woods around it. They had built their nest all around the building, placing their nests right under the eaves. One pair had even built a nest on top of a bird feeder, under the domed roof placed over the feeder to shed rain. There is a species of swallows in Africa that constructs their nests on the underside of the leaf of a certain plant, sticking it on with a special glue they make. Then they glue their eggs into the nest so they don’t fall out. What beats me is how the chicks don’t fall out when they hatch. Google ‘African Palm Swift’ to learn more. Swallows are created to fly. Their wings are longer than their entire body, & their legs are so short in relation to the rest of them that it’s exteremely hard to lift off from the ground. Swallows are insect-eating birds & can hundreds of bugs in a single day.