From the “Cute Little Baby Animals” Department come news and evidence that the Barn Swallow couple residing under the eaves have quadruplets. Can’t say for sure how old they are, but Ma and Pa have been very busy feeding them. “Feeding on the fly with flies” seems to be the theme around Swallowville these days as each adult, both absent from the nest for long stretches of time, return and within a half a second deposit a morsel in one of the mouths. Immediately they are back out to hunt. The activity is quite remarkable. The adults occasionally take some time to scoop water from the pool, or rest on power lines or in a sunny spot on the road. Then back to caring for the young’uns.
The hatchings came as a surprise as their nest is too high to see into and I thought that there were only eggs. I should have realized something was up as the modest accumulation of guano below nest began to form a small mountain. The incubation period for the eggs is between 12 – 17 days and the chicks hatch without feathers. Fledging occurs 18-23 days after hatching so these guys might be ready to fly really soon. Eenie and Meenie and Mieynee and Moe!