New born baby birds (barn swallows) on our front porch!

A mating pair of barn swallows have been nesting on our front porch for the past month or so, but today we noticed 5 brand new baby barn swallows poking their heads out at us…

barn swallow babies up close

Some neat info. on the Barn Swallow from Wikipedia:

The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world.

In the past, the tolerance for this beneficial insectivore was reinforced by superstitions regarding damage to the Barn Swallow’s nest. Such an act might lead to cows giving bloody milk, or no milk at all, or to hens ceasing to lay.[6] This may be a factor in the longevity of swallows’ nests. Survival, with suitable annual refurbishment, for 10–15 years is regular, and one nest was reported to have been occupied for 48 years.[6]

The Barn Swallow symbolizes the coming of spring and thus love in the Pervigilium Veneris, a late Latin poem. In “The Waste Land,” T. S. Eliot quoted the line “Quando fiam uti chelidon [ut tacere desinam]?” (“When will I be like the swallow, so that I can stop being silent?”) This refers to a version of the myth of Philomela in which she turns into a Nightingale and her sister Procne into a Swallow; in less familiar versions, the two species are reversed.[41] On the other hand, an image of the assembly of Swallows for their southward migration concludes John Keats’s ode “To Autumn.”

barnswallow in flight(barn swallow in flight)

There are mentions of the Barn Swallow in the Bible, although it seems likely that it is confused with the swifts in many translations,[42] or possibly other hirundine species which breed in Israel.[7] However, “Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young” from Psalms 84:3 likely applies to the Barn Swallow.[42]

The swallow is also notably cited in several of William Shakespeare’s plays for the swiftness of its flight; for example: “True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings…” from Act 5 of Richard III, and “I have horse will follow where the game Makes way, and run like swallows o’er the plain.” from the second act of Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare also references the annual migration of the species poetically in The Winter’s Tale, Act 4: “Daffodils, That come before the swallow dares, and take The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,…”.

Hand-feeding Hummingbirds.

5 hand fed humming birdsI just had to share these photos of a woman in Louisiana hand-feeding her humming birds. Awesome. 🙂

hand fed humming birds in Louisiana

hand fed humming birds Louisiana

Meet the Eurasian collared-dove.

I hope you like the looks of this bird, because soon it may be the only one you see at your feeders in the United States. It’s called the “Eurasian collared-dove” and experts say it is “conquering America.” A dove-like bird that first entered the United States via Florida in the 1980’s, it is now the most prevalent bird in Florida and in more than thirty other states, according to National Audubon Society bird expert, Greg Butcher. A study released by the National Audubon Society on Thursday, reports that the populations of 20 common American birds from the fence-sitting meadowlark to the whippoorwill are half what they were 40 years ago.

The study’s author, Greg Butcher of the National Audubon Society, says Suburban sprawl, climate change and other invasive species are largely to blame. If you’d like to learn more about America’s quickly disappearing native bird population, visit Project Feeder Watch at Cornell University. It’s a great site where you can enjoy learning about Native birds while watching numerous videos of increasingly rare birds at feeders around the country.

Project Feeder Watch at Cornell University