The Baby Barn Swallow, Back In The Nest

The baby barn swallow on the barn floor

I opened the gate letting the sheep and donkeys into the back pasture.  They followed me just so far, grazed a bit then ran back to the barn.  The bugs were still bad enough to make them wait till it got dark to graze.

The sheep were already settled into the barn by the time I got back to it.  I peeked in on them, counting heads when I heard the loud chirping.

Above me, two baby barn swallows stuck their heads out of the mud nest stuck to the roof rafter.   But the chirping came from below.  I looked down and there was another baby bird on the ground its mouth wide open as if making sure I knew it was there.

Just a foot away was another baby barn swallow flattened into the hard-packed earth.

I reached down and gently wrapped my hand around the baby bird and placed it on the wide wooden barn fencing.

Then I went to get the ladder from the barn.

The bird was where I left it when I got back less than a minute later.  But now it seemed used to me and made no protest, wrapping its tiny feet around my finger, as I picked it up and climbed the ladder.

Three other birds stuck their heads out of the nest and chipped madly at me as I put their sibling next to them.

Earlier in the spring I had found two dead adult barn swallows in the barn.  And the three nests that usually held two broods every summer were empty.  I don’t know what happened to them, but I was beginning to think the swallows might not come back again.

Seeing the baby swallows this evening, and being able to save at least one of them gave me some hope that at least some of them survived and they’ll be back again next year.

The baby barn swallows in their nest on the barn rafter.

6 thoughts on “The Baby Barn Swallow, Back In The Nest

  1. This year things have been different as far as wildlife. Our old friends have not showed up…turkeys for one and we only have one deer where we had many previously. Early in the season we counted a lot of Monarch caterpillars but they vanished with no trace of cocoons and we haven’t had a caterpillar since. The milkweed looks tired although I water every day. I’m not sure if there is a sort of blight. I have seen butterflies so I am still hoping. I was spoiled last year. Just have to be happy with who does show up. At least the sky never disappoints!

    1. That’s interesting Carolyn, I’d think the turkeys at least would always be around. Maybe we’re just becoming aware that things are always changing. I guess we’ll know more next year. Thanks for your wildlife insights!

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