Sunday, 1 June 2014

Nest Building Begins

June 1st seems to be the day each year where the Tree Swallows really ramp up their nest building efforts and get nest construction well under way. This morning was no different. Neville's pond was alive with the chatter of swallows bringing small strands of grass to their nest boxes. It seems the male does most of the nest building, while the female perches near by and supervises the male. Every now and again she will enter the box and "fix" what the male as placed inside. Another reason i believe the female stays near the nest while the male goes for more grass is because other swallows are relentless in trying to take over any boxes left available.

By late next week most pairs will be sitting on eggs. However on Wednesday i placed 4 more boxes at a wetland near my house. This morning a pair of tree swallows and one pair of Black Caped Chickadees had moved in. These birds will be slightly behind the rest.

Getting The Shot

To get photos like the ones below it is very simple. You really only need three things. Tree Swallows, A nest box and patients. All i do to get the images below are simply attach sticks that are unique and interesting like this mossy one; onto the nest box. Or i place the sticks near the nest box. It depends on where the light is shining from and how my background looks. I attach the sticks using zip ties and sometimes screws if i plan on leaving the perch there for some time. Then i get my tripod set up and wait....and wait. You might be there two minutes before swallows are on the stick and other times it may take more then an hour. I find the best days are days with no wind and overcast. The duller days are much easier for getting your exposure right with the whites and the blues of the birds.

Heres what it looks like

Below are a few more photos from this morning. Spring has defintaly arrived!

About to get some grass for the nest

More to come!

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