Barn Swallows have returned for the nesting season here in northern Utah and if they aren’t already building nests they will be constructing them very soon. I have been enjoying seeing the Barn Swallows again along the causeway to Antelope Island State Park, at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and while out driving around looking for other birds to photograph.
Barn Swallow use mud and grasses to form pellets which are used in the construction of their nests. They make hundreds of trips with mud in their bills to create their nests then the nests are lined with soft grasses and feathers before the eggs are laid. Each nest may have somewhere between 750 to 1,400 pellets and they often reuse old nests.
I photographed these Barn Swallows last year on Antelope Island State Park, I am not exactly sure where they build their nests there but the colony may nest under the bridge close to the island. They usually need a vertical structure like a wall or cliff in order to build their cup-shaped nests.
Barn Swallows lay 4 to 7 eggs which take 13 to 17 days to hatch and both parents incubate. Barn Swallows can have more than one clutch per year and there are times that the young from the first brood help out the adults by feeding the second brood.
The Barn Swallow in the photo above seemed to be taking a short rest from gathering nesting materials.
Even though this photo isn’t perfect I wanted to include it because this swallow was photo bombed by another swallow and both of them have mud in their bills.
I haven’t photographed a Barn Swallow yet this year but hopefully it won’t be too long before I have the opportunity to do so.
Life is good.