The Cliff Swallows at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge are busy catching bugs and building nests but they do take time out to preen and fluff like this one did yesterday. There are thousands of Cliff Swallows at the refuge and they can be seen flying over the marshes catching bugs in the air and I am always grateful when they gobble up the mosquitoes. I really don’t like biting bugs.
The swallow in the image above was preening when I photographed it and its tail is actually twisted because it was getting oil from the uropygial gland or preening gland. Its perch is a winter worn, sun-dried phragmites stalk, new growth of the phrags can be seen in the background.
I took a short cell phone video of the flock of Cliff Swallows in flight over a section of the Bear River that I thought I would also share. The Promontory Mountain Range can be seen in the background.
Bear River National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places in northern Utah for the birds, the wildlife and the great views.
Life is good.