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Well, the tree swallows that were nesting in the nest box right next to the front door have gone along their merry way. (I think I heard a parental sigh of relief.) Normally when baby birds fledge (i.e. leave the nest) you will see them around the yard for a few weeks, trying out their flying skills and begging food from their parents from every tree branch. Not so with swallows, who spend their lives finding food on the wing. I wasn’t there for the actual event, but I have a deep appreciation for a critter who, never having flown before, or even completely stretched out its wings in a small nest box with 3 or 4 siblings, makes that inaugural flight by leaping into the air, trusting to instinct that it will all work out just fine…and it does. I was able to capture these pictures a few days before the babies┬ádeparted, when they were clearly getting big enough to be ready to go.

TreeSwallowFledgie

The yellow edge to their beaks, which all baby songbirds have, to my knowledge, is called a gape.

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Jennifer Kleffner

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