First To Nest

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) have been back in the neighborhood for a few weeks.  They have been checking nest boxes around the garden but they have been chased out of each nest box they tried by the House Sparrows.  In turn, we chased the Sparrows out.  It’s a spring ritual that we have to do in order to secure a place for the songbirds.

Finally, a pair of Tree Swallows settled into one of the boxes.  Hopefully, the other two pairs will not be discouraged by the Sparrows and will find another place to raise their families.  We had three Swallow families in our garden last year and they tend to come back to the same place year after year.

The female has been building her nest for the last few days.  Her mate keeps an eye on the intruder Sparrows.  It’s fun to see her selecting nest material and trying to get it into the nest box.

Welcome home kids.

Choosing nest materials
Choosing nest materials
Brought it to her new home
Brought it to her new home
It's a little too long to get it in.
It’s a little too long to get it in.
Now what? Must be a way to get this stick in.
Now what? Must be a way to get this stick in.
Finally!
Finally!

8 thoughts on “First To Nest

    1. She took off with the twig then made a turn in the air, came back and shoved it in. It was probably just dry grass that didn’t need much strength to bend or break. But the acrobatics they perform getting some of it into the nest box is both fascinating and at times hilarious.

    1. Thank you. We look forward to welcoming these migrating birds every year. Like old friends returning home. Tree Swallows have a habit of coming back to nest where they were born or have nested before. You have Bluebirds in the neighborhood so they will probably nest in your garden if you put nest boxes up. Helping them fend off the House sparrows will be a battle, but worth it.

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