Over the past few weeks we’ve had two bird species show up that I was happy to see, both swallows. The first, a family of Northern Rough-winged Swallows spent a little over a week practicing the art of catching flying insects over our Wetlands. There were 6 – 7 birds in the group, two adults and five or six juveniles.
I’ve seen family groups here in previous summers, but typically only one or two juvenile birds. It was nice to see a large group of the swallows, and for over a week.
The other swallow that graced us with its presence was the Barn Swallow. A group of about four birds came in for the day. It didn’t look as though any of the birds were recently fledged, these all appeared to be adult birds. In fact, two of them attempted to mate with a female that landed on a birch tree a half dozen feet from the Wetlands Overlook.
Barn Swallows are common in North Carolina, but they don’t nest here on the Museum campus. Bridges and overpasses seem to be the places to find these swallows, especially those bridges that span bodies of water, Falls Lake and the Eno River to name two very local bodies of water.
Barn Swallows epitomize the term swallow with their long outer tail feathers creating the ellegant swallowtail of this species. It would be a thrill to have these swallows, any swallow species, nest here at the Museum. It’s an absolute pleasure to watch them wheeling and turning as they chase about the sky snatching dinner from the air.