Sunday, May 26, 2013

A yearling female Tree Swallow inspects a nesting cavity...

This yearling female Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) was giving a possible nesting cavity the once over. She studied it from every angle. Finally the male flew up to see if she liked it...

A female Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) checks out a possible nesting cavity....

You can tell this is a female yearling Tree Swallow because of her coloring. Adult male and female Tree Swallows look alike with metallic greenish-blue feathers on the upper parts and white feathers on the lower parts, but one-year old females retain the brownish feathers of youth with just a sprinkle of the metallic blue and green feathers on the back.

Our little female Tree Swallow looks happy with the site, and the male seems pleased too...

At one point, the male flew closer to me. I could see he was holding a wispy strand of soft nesting material in his right foot...

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material
A male Tree Swallow carries nesting material in his right foot. 

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with nesting material
...the striking metallic blue feathers on his back contrast beautifully with the white feathers on his neck, chest and belly.

I saw this pair of Tree Swallows on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh in Toledo, Ohio on May 7, 2012 at the Biggest Week in American Birding. She was very thorough in her inspection. After the male flew up, they both sang to each other over and over. It looked like they had found their perfect springtime home. I didn't get to go to the Biggest Week in American Birding this year, but I'm planning on it next year!


  1. fabulous close ups and the male is very striking; thanks Kelly

  2. Sweet post! These Tree Swallows are a beautiful pair. I hope they were able to raise a brood successfully. Superb photographs, Kelly!

  3. Lovely photo story, Kelly! It made my day!