Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barn Swallows

Do-tee-do-ing. Nothing exciting. Just focusing on getting chores done quickly before Sunday morning church so that we're not late - again. And guess what we find clinging to the chicken wire covering the chicken brooder tanks. A baby barn swallow. We pull out the ladder, put it back up in the nest, and that's that. We didn't notice anything wrong with it, or signs that the parents had kicked it out. Yay, we saved a baby bird. Or so we thought.

Come Monday morning, I didn't even think of checking for baby bird issues, when, lo-and-behold, there's another baby swallow clinging to the chicken wire. Thank goodness it didn't fall into the brooder; I don't want to think of what those meat birds would've done to something not even a quarter of their size. So we pulled out the ladder again to put the baby back into its nest. But this time, we noticed that the nest was tipping. Quite noticeably too! After much deliberation, we decided to use some wood clamps to hold a piece of wood underneath the nest, so it wouldn't tip any farther. Who hated the renovations to the nest? The babies' parents. The flew circles around the barn, chirping loudly, and bickering about the new color scheme while sitting on the barn stall railing. Actually, they wouldn't even go near the nest to feed their brood.

Who's got a Plan 'B'? Anyone? Well, step one: remove clamp and extra wood. Little did I know when I climbed that ladder that our little system was holding up the nest. I ended up on my tippy-toes on the ladder holding up the nest while everyone else scrambled around trying to formulate the rest of plan b. Why did those birds have to build their nest on a wire, I mean really? We set the nest on a more secure ledge close to where they originally set up house, but mommy and daddy bird couldn't figure out where their nest ran off to. They kept checking this other ledge above one of the lights in the barn where they had started a nest earlier in the season (they started building 3 nests before deciding they liked the wire). So we scooted the ladder over to that ledge and carefully put the nest up and we walked away. We did all that we could. That was that. We weren't sure what we'd end up doing if they didn't find their nest.

Later, we were back in the barn, and who was making the rounds making sure that the little brood was getting their fair share of bugs? Yep, the bickering barn swallow couple. They found their nest and their brood of four.

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