Tree Swallow near Modoc Creek, Idaho

Tree Swallow near Modoc CreekTree Swallow near Modoc Creek – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/160, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Tree Swallow nesting season is in high gear in the areas I have been camping at in Idaho and Montana. There is plenty of squabbling going on near nesting cavities, both natural and at man made nesting boxes. The males seem happy to stake out a nesting cavity and make all kinds of noises while they do. They can be quite vocal!

I’ve been using my eyes a lot this trip trying to locate active, natural nesting cavities and I have found a few but while I observed them they weren’t busy with activity. I did visit an older nesting cavity tree I know about and found some Tree Swallows busy at the cavity but there were clouds overhead so the light was low and I wasn’t getting much shutter speed so I took more soft images than usual even though I bumped my ISO up to 800. I liked this image of a Tree Swallow near Modoc Creek because of the eye contact, head turn, colors and the pattern of the conifer needles in the background.

Life is good.



  1. Linda Laugen June 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I have never heard of, leave alone seen 99% of the birds you feature. So I had no idea of what would flash before my eyes when I opened the tree swallow presentation for today! AWESOME!! This took my breath away!

    I believe friends and I saw one of these in a blue spruce in their WI yard last summer., and what a complementation of colors!! It was the iridescence that caught our eye, time after time. Like a neon light in the blue-ish tree! And now, here are more tree swallows, and I’m home in Iowa! The WI one was smaller than my sources say these are – could I have confused it with anything else? Regardless, you have brought back some really special moments to me! THANKS!

  2. Utahbooklover June 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Beautiful image! Thank you Mia. Sounds like you’re having a good time.

  3. Elephant's Child June 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    You only ‘like’ this image? You are spoilt. I love it.

  4. M. Bruce June 3, 2016 at 10:11 am


  5. Patty Chadwick June 3, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I wasn’t aware thst tree swallows were so blue…this is a beautiful image. Love the blue of the bird, the silver of the weathered wood and the soft greens of the background. They work so well together….

    • Pam Skaar June 3, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Those are photorefractive feathers and they change color according to the lighting angle. The blue in this photo is phenomenally bright. I seldom see that through my binoculars.

      The bird shows its stunning beauty here and the grays in the wood paly with the blue parts of the bird’s body.

  6. Bob McPherson June 3, 2016 at 6:08 am

    A Beautiful photo, Mia.

  7. Joan Carey June 3, 2016 at 5:52 am

    WOW! a precious little jewel.

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