Up close with a Tree Swallow at Red Rock Lakes NWR

Close up Tree Swallow perched on a fence postClose up Tree Swallow perched on a fence post – Nikon D500, f9, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

My first trip up to Montana and Idaho usually happens in late May or Early June but for various reasons this year it didn’t happen until July so I missed the territorial squabbles between Mountain Bluebirds and Tree Swallows for the nesting boxes that have been installed along many of the roads in the Centennial Valley of Montana. I missed seeing and photographing both species taking nesting materials to the boxes and feeding their nestlings too. There were still a few Tree Swallows hanging out at nest boxes though I never saw them taking food to their young.

While stopped at a gate at Red Rock lakes NWR a Tree Swallow flew in and landed on a fence post so close that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to focus on it but I had to try. I quickly turned off the limiter on my lens and hoped I was just far enough away to be able to obtain sharp, in focus images. At first the bird was facing directly towards me but it soon fluttered and turned its body so I could photograph it from the tip of its tiny beak to its tail.

I didn’t take many photos of Tree Swallows on my recent trip up north but I sure enjoyed photographing this one.

Life is good.



  1. Charles Karaian August 7, 2017 at 10:36 am


  2. Pepe Forte July 28, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Simply stunning! What a pic! Thanks Mia.

  3. Elephants Child July 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    What an absolute beauty. Love that sheen.

  4. April Olson July 27, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Beautiful Photo of the iridescence.

  5. Laura Perrone July 27, 2017 at 9:18 am

    What a beautiful bird! I spent a half hour this morning trapped in a stuck elevator on my way to work in NYC. Seeing your post when I finally got to the office has really brightened my day. Makes me want to visit these wilder places and just be with nature. Thanks, Mia!

  6. Patty Chadwick July 27, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Oil slick iridescence, Beautiful!!!

  7. Laura Culley July 27, 2017 at 7:45 am

    What a BEAUTY! I can watch swallows fly all day long and marvel at their agility, their aerial skills and just their sheer beauty. Yes, I’m easily amused, but that’s a good thing. Life IS good if you only take a few minutes (or longer) to step outside your silly humanity and take the time to notice.

  8. Kim July 27, 2017 at 6:19 am


  9. Liz Cormack July 27, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Beautiful. Love the iridescence of the feathers.

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