Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tree Swallow at Meadowlark Gardens

As Gregg decided to take this week off, we had fully intended to drive down to the Smoky Mountains which would have been wonderful, but after we had hummed and haaa'd for a while, we realized that neither of us felt like a long road trip. We decided to have fun in our own back-yard. There are plenty of places in this area that we have loved visiting over and over again, and that's what we have been doing every day. We have gotten lots of exercise walking around our favorite spots. Yesterday we visited Meadowlark Gardens and if you want to see other posts, you can click on the label below this one.


At Meadowlark the most predominant bird to watch, at least for us yesterday, was the Tree Swallow. They are seen zooming across the lake like a low-flying aircraft and it's quite a sight to behold.  An absolutely delightful little bird and the gardens have several nesting boxes all along our walk.  We came across this one and was drawn to it because of all the Canada Goose feathers. Not wanting to bother the bird I wasn't really that close as I was using a zoom.  


The Tree Swallow is medium in size but a very strong little bird and their legs are quite short.  They are in the air most of the time but you will see them perched on tree trunks and branches where they hold on tight with those strong little feet.  You can find more information here and also scroll down and click on the button that says 'typical voice' to hear what they sound like.


There is definitely something of the prehistoric in that little face.  When you read about the relationship between birds and dinosaurs, most researchers now support the idea that birds are a group of therapod dinosaurs that evolved during the Mesozoic Era.  Fossils of more than 20 species of dinosaur have been collected with preserved feathers, and many scientists now believe that birds are actually survivors of the great extinctions of the dinosaur age.



After a while it was time to leave our little dinosaur survivor to its nest building.  It was hot and muggy and I was thinking that with all that flying around and collecting of the feathers, it needed some well deserved rest.  Then again he might have been a relatively new fledgling who found it far too steamy inside the box and was getting some air.  Still being a fledgling birder myself and still learning the difference between markings of male, female and juvenile, it's back to the books.


17 comments:

  1. poor little guy or gal looks hot!

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  2. Hi Denise...I love to see these birds bringing in nesting material, especially the feathers!! Love the close up face shots!!
    Great post,and cute shots !!
    Grace

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  3. Delightful post!! I just love having tree swallows on my property. I go outside to watch them every day. Interesting house with the wire cage around the hole.

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  4. Cute little bird! Nice captures, Denise! You are so fortunate to have so many parks to visit in your area.

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  5. What wonderful pictures of the tree swallow. I sat, transfixed, watching a pair of tree swallows a few days ago.

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  6. Real nice to see the birds from the inside my friend.

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  7. Denise, I love the cute tree swallows. I think the birds like to hang out of the box trying to cool off. I love these photos, hope you are staying cool.

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  8. Very nice, that green is really beautiful.

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  9. Who needs a long trip, when you find shots like this in your own area, Denise! Cute

    Aloha from Honolulu,
    Comfort Spiral
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  10. Neat pictures of the little birdies, Denise. We were on the same wave-length today with our bird pictures, weren't we???? ha

    You are smart not to come to the Smokies in the hot summer... Hope you do get here sometime though. They are marvelous!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  11. they are a very cute little bird, and those close-ups are amazing Denise!

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  12. Swallows. swifts and all their similar chums are great wee birds to have around. Perhaps because they mean it's Summer but perhaps because they're always so busy with their nests. You get used to seeing them in little mud nests under eaves, so it's new to me to see a tree swallow in a nesting box. Do they migrate in the winter like our own?

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  13. dinosaur??? nope, this little friend is so cute!Wonderful post Denise!
    Léia

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  14. Love these photos. I remember seeing them at Yellowstone and thought their coloring was gorgeous.

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  15. Denise, what great info and photos! I love to explore places nearby. You found a peach of a place here!

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  16. Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments.

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