Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Empty Nest Syndrome?

For the past month, I have been watching a pair of Swallows raise their brood of 4. For a couple of weeks, Mom and Dad sat on the eggs in over 100 degree heat. I have watched the 4 little ones grow up, and twice had to get out the ladder and put one back in the nest. They would creep out along the C Perling and find themselves lost.
This past week, they have started testing their wings. Hanging on to the edge of the perling or nest and flapping as hard as they could. They have gotten adventurous and spread out along the length of the beam their nest is on.
Today, the three oldest babies are testing their long distance flight. Mom and Dad keep close watch on them. I got pictures of them sitting on the back fence, but my computer is ignoring my camera, so have to dig up the driver for it. But they are so cute to watch. Only the last hatchling is left under the patio. It did make a short flight, so will probably be flying by the weekend.
I am going to miss my baby swallows. But I bet the parents start to work on another nest full soon. I hope to keep them around all summer. For the first time in the 15 years I have lived here, I have no wasps. By this time of summer, I have usually used up a couple of cans of Hot Shot on nests. I can't find any.....anywhere! I have checked eaves and outbuildings....nothing! I think I have spotted only a handful of red wasps the whole season. This is wonderful for Kim's deadly allergy. For that reason alone, I hope my swallows take up permanent summer residence at my house.

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