Nesting time for Barn Swallows

Barn Swallow resting on a boulderBarn Swallow resting on a boulder

It is nesting time for Barn Swallows in northern Utah, they have migrated back to Utah and have already begun to build their nests to rear their broods from this season. These are awesome bug catchers and I’m grateful for every mosquito they devour because then there are less of them to bite me.

Barn Swallow with a beak full of mudBarn Swallow with a beak full of mud

Barn Swallows probably built adobe homes long before humans every did, they use mud as plaster to form their nests and the rain that fell the night before and yesterday morning created puddles that the Barn Swallows were using to get the mud they need for their nests. This Barn Swallow has a serious load of mud in its bill.

Barn Swallow lifting off with nesting material in its billBarn Swallow lifting off with nesting material in its bill

The Barn swallows are only at the puddle briefly; basically just long enough to fill their bills, and then they lift off. I think these swallows may be nesting near the marina on Antelope Island State Park some where.  Maybe they will eat some of those biting gnats!



  1. Jolanta March 4, 2014 at 7:40 am

    My beloved birdis, thanks for amazing pictures 🙂

  2. Mia McPherson May 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks everyone.

  3. M. Firpi May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

    These are very good; they have been very skittish here so I’ve had no luck with shooting them.

  4. Prairie Birder May 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia! The Barn Swallows haven’t arrived in our area yet, but
    I’m sure they will be along soon!

  5. Julie Brown May 10, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Very nice series to show this handsome little bird at work!

  6. Kathie May 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Love these birds and these photos, especially the one with the mouth full of mud!

  7. Rohrerbot May 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Mia!!! I’m back….finally!!!! My first reaction was gross!!! But I love the shot of the mud with the swallow:) Great captures!!! I’ve been working a new camera and so far have been thrilled with the details. I’m finally able to get these close ups!

  8. Merrill Ann Gonzales May 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    It is incredulous to me that ANYONE can photograph a swallow. They come swooping in around here (they’ve been here for a few weeks now) and between their speed and their love for the air I’m lucky if I can get a few specks on my photo of where they had been flying by even if they once in awhile come close enough for specks!
    These photos are simply amazing to me. Many thanks for sharing.

  9. Jann Gam May 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Beautiful shots, thank you for sharing!

  10. Bob Bushell May 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    They are superb, thanks Mia.

  11. Jane Chesebrough May 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

    like these shots and the story behind them, especially the one that is landing (or taking off) Yes, I too appreciate them eating the bugs!

  12. Beverly Everson May 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Shots #2 and #3 are fantastic! Great catch, Mia!

  13. Tami May 9, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I’ve never seen them collect mud up close before, Mia. How neat to see it in such a wonderful crisp photo!

  14. biobabbler May 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

    That is the first time I’ve seen a photo of a swallow w/a mud-laden beak. SO cool. Lovely shots, and congrats on the free pest control army! =)

  15. Sherry in MT May 9, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Such pretty birds and I like the one with the load of mud, a reminder how they really do build their nests. Always has amazed me!

  16. Lynn Koch May 9, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Lovely, Mia! Your bird blogs are wonderful and it’s great to see (if only in photos) birds I’ve heard of but haven’t seen!

  17. Susan May 9, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Fantastic Images Mia, I love swallows

  18. judy watson May 9, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Great shots, Mia!

  19. Tammy Karr May 9, 2013 at 5:41 am

    They are excellent shots, especially the mouth full of mud! Made me glad, though, that I’m not the one building an adobe home!

  20. eric c11 May 9, 2013 at 4:29 am

    very nice mia, and it s hard to get a take off, they start very fast, well done ☺

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