26 June 2016
We all assembled again to band the final four nests of young Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica with a few additional interested observers.
I must say again that Kevin has been absolutely obliging in terms of having an audience watch him band these birds, and has answered questions patiently and made sure that the children have enjoyed the experience and learned a good deal in the process.
The nestlings we have already banded are now within hours of leaving the nest, and are starting to crowd each other out.
Here they are with their little rear ends all directed away from the nest to ensure that their droppings are shot over the side.
Miriam was again handling the camera chores for me and she captured Kevin's banding skill very nicely in the following images.
This little bird seems to have had enough to do with the nest and is ready to explore the world outside.
Stephen Trink brought his two daughters Abigail, nine years old, and Emma, seven years old to watch the operation, and here they are along with Marilyn Burch, a friend of Dave and Sandy, carefully observing the goings on.
These two little girls were absolutely fascinated by the birds and couldn't resist holding one.
There is a degree of wonder, quite unrivalled by other experiences, in having intimate contact with wild creatures. This is especially true when children are involved and sometimes it is enough to trigger a lifelong connection to nature. I certainly hope that it turns about to be the case with Abigail and Emma, polite, engaged and delightful girls, who were anxious to participate and learn. I hope to see more of them and help them with their enjoyment of the natural world.
Inside the barn no less interested observers and helpers watched Kevin return the banded brood back to their nest.
|Josh Pickering, John Lichty, Kevin Grundy, Emma Trink, Marilyn Burch|
We had been observing this nest full of young birds.......
.........when one decided that it was time to make an exit and flew over to a nearby perch.
Within minutes it had moved over to the window and was feeling the first wind ever to ruffle its feathers.
This little bird is about to face the most dangerous segment of its young life as it learns how to cope with the world outside, and masters all the skills it takes to be a Barn Swallow. We wish it well!