Swallows in the chimney

Every year brings something new and unusual. This year we have swallows nesting in our chimney! The little purple guys who flit back and forth over the pasture every summer (and who I built a nice set of bird houses for over the garden after the old martin house they’d been using since before we moved here fell over) have set up a home in our chimney, apparently right on top of the closed flue, because we can hear them loud and clear in the living room. In fact we first noticed the occasional chirping a few weeks ago, but now the chicks have hatched, and every 20 minutes we here the raucous calls of the babies crying ‘FEED ME! FEED ME!’ when Mom and Dad come back.

Yesterday evening I sat outside watching the chimney hoping to get a picture of the parents coming back to feed the kids, and this shot of a parent leaving to hunt for more food was the best I got. I’m going to go try again tonight, because they make an amazing big loop and swoop straight down into the chimney, which is pretty cool looking.

After the chicks are out and on their own we’ll have to see about getting the chimney cleaned and replacing whatever is supposed to be on the top to keep birds out, so next year they’ll have to stay in a bird house like the rest of the birds!
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