We enjoyed picture-perfect weather during our recent visit to family in Indiana, just what was needed after the winter they endured. They were the kind of days where you just wanted to sit on the porch with a cold drink in hand, enjoy quiet family time while listening to the birds warbling their greetings. Adding to the enjoyment was my discovery of the family of barn swallows who had taken up residence near the porch roofline. I took delight in watching their antics, as a burgeoning full house soon looked to become an empty nest. Unfortunately when dad selected the nest site, which he is prone to do, he forgot someone might be interested in capturing images of feedings and first flight so his choice lacked proper lighting, most likely his intent. This did not deter me from snapping a few shots anyway. Four little babes, an average number for this brood, watch warily as they wait for mom or dad to return with a tasty snack. Momma takes the greater responsibility for incubating the eggs, which averages 14-19 days, with another 18-23 days needed for the babes to fledge. Both parents provide equal support for feeding and keeping the nest clean. As I watched four little wide-open mouths, momma swooped in. Time for dinner! Hanging onto the nest mom fed her young, all the while keeping an eye on me. I tried to stay as far away as my camera would allow.
And then there were two! And these two were in no hurry to leave their little abode, now that they could spread their wings a bit. Time and again as mom and dad swept past, no amount of prodding convinced them to leave this comfy little cup. After several hours of standing on the ledge testing their new wings, they took to the air.
Empty little cup nest, most likely built by momma – mud pellets lined with grass and feathers.
We thought we had seen the last of them but near dusk all four babes reappeared in the nest. After doing my homework I learned that the parents lead the fledglings back to the nest at night and continue feedings for a week after the maiden flight.
Whether you are part of a full house or an empty-nester, hope you are having a relaxing summer. 🙂
60 thoughts on “From Full House to Empty Nest”
What cuties those chicks were, and, of course, the pictures were perfect. What? No pictures of them flying around?
I can’t tell you how long I stood there hoping for a chance to see them leave the nest, but no such luck. I think they may have been a bit nervous with me hanging around.
Oh Luanne, how adorable! Can I use those pics as reference for a painting? Hope you’re having a great summer! Xo, lisa
You most certainly can Lisa. Will you share your lovely painting when it is finished? Hope you and Bill are having a relaxing summer. Miss you two! 🙂
What amazing photos, LuAnn!! The shot with those four little yellow beaks opening wide is perfect. I had to show everyone here. What a neat story! Who would have thought that they return to the nest after they have left.
Glad you enjoyed your family time:)
We did enjoy our time with family, just catching up and relaxing, not venturing far from the house.
I had no idea that these little guys returned back to the nest once they discovered their wings.
Thanks Norm! Terry and I hope you are finally getting some good weather during your travels. Take care!
Such a wonderful peek into the lives of adorable creatures! So very inconsiderate of them to not take your photo needs into account! 😉 I loved this story and the gorgeous photos!! We had a nest under the back porch awning, but it was well hidden in the rafters (probably wise due to the cats of the neighborhood), so I enjoyed your photos even more!! Hugs and wishes for a very happy week dear friend!! ❤ xoxo
Thanks for stopping by Christina. Glad to see you back on WP. Have a most fabulous week as well! 🙂
I swear LuAnn (well only now and then) but your photography captures nature and it’s magnificent happenings so perfectly, my friend. I’m quite in awe. And of course your well written narrative is what caps it all off. Their parents are wise, bring their fledglings back at night. How caring and responsible is that? I loved this post! Loved it! 🙂 xo
Thanks Penny! I really enjoyed writing this post as I so love nature. I presumed most birds did not come back to the nest once they left. When I did some reading I realized just how protective these parents are. 🙂
What a wonderful thing to see! The whole family is adorable and your photos perfection!
Thanks Lisa! It was a fun post to write. 🙂
These are incredible captures LuAnn. tThose yellow wide open beaks make me smile from ear to ear. I think I can almost hear all of the racket coming from them. 🙂
Thanks Sue! There was a lot of chirping going on every time a parent swooped in with a tasty little morsel. 🙂
I’ll be the choir really got going then! 🙂
LuAnn, what an adorable post! Your captures are perfect! Isn’t it delightful to watch them fledge the nest. I didn’t know the babies are lead back to the nest once they left it the first time. How smart of them.
When we first moved to CO we were renting a house up near Pinewood (up the mountain from Loveland) and a family of Barn swallows were raised above the patio door. We were fascinated with watching them. I remember the whole family sitting on a wood fence, all in a row. This was in 1986! Safe Travels!
I have watched barn swallows before Sheila but never knew much about them. BIL was ready for them to fledge as he wanted to take down the nest. They are a bit messy, especially where the nest was built. When we saw them return that night, we were all surprised!
Safe travels to you as well.
I love it when these swift fliers choose to nest where one can get up close… These are great photos and no doubt you have seen mine I posted… had a quick look and see you did not comment so maybe it was prior to you following so here is a link, these look just like yours…
Funny you should make this particular comment because as I was writing this I wondered if you had ever captured these beautiful little birds. I am going over to your blog now to take a peek. Hope you are having a good day Bulldog.
What wonderful pictures!!!
Lovely series of pics, LuAnn. They are such cuties with their beaks wide open. Just as demanding as human babies. 🙂 Your family visit sounds idyllic.
Thanks Sylvia. The family visit was very relaxing.
Love that second photo with four mouths wide open and expectant! That’s one to frame, if you ask me!
Oh what a treat to see those little ones grow. What awesome photos you captured. Thanks so much for sharing such a special moment in a family’s life.
My pleasure Marsha.
Wonderful photos. So charming. Thank you for taking us on your adventures.
Glad you came along for the ride. How all is well with you Gale.
Awww, what a lovely post featuring some great photos. Hope you’re enjoying some leisurely travel 🙂
We are taking it slow and not doing much so I have little material to work with. 😉
How delightful 🙂 These are precious photos. Good to learn that the parents lead the fledglings back to the nest at night… Thanks for sharing, LuAnn!
My pleasure Amy. 🙂
I love the pictures, you teahc me lots of stuff and make me demand nature to come and find me…it’s not that I am lazy or anything, I just like playing hard to get.
Perhaps when we meet (notice I said when, not if), I should take you out and introduce you to some nature. Are you game? 😉
I am game indeed, but not willing to get shot at in that respect. I am looking forward to it and should be booking my tickets within the fortnight so the wehen is getting more cemented…
Yay! I promise there will be no shooting involved (at last by me). There might even be a pint to enjoy after the excursion. 🙂
Oh well, it would be rude of me to refuse…I will take great pleasure in letting you know when I am in the country as you.
Such a lovely story and photos, LuAnn. It always feels so luxurious and spirit-nurturing when I take the time to just sit and observe nature. Thanks for sharing your delight. 🙂
My pleasure Laurel. It felt good to have nothing to do besides sit, visit family, and take in a little nature. 🙂
We have two nests – one on each of the front corners of the porch – every year.
This year – the two that got started ended up elsewhere because we had the house repainted.
They didn’t come back to rebuild. I’m guessing because of the paint fumes. Maybe I’m sure that they will be back next year.
Love the bird pics – especially the one with the little ones with their beaks wide open.
I have always enjoyed watching the swallows. My BIL was chomping at the bit to knock down the nest (they are a bit messy) until we discovered that the parents bring the babes back at night.
What adorably wonderful photos. I love them. Those little things are so cute 🙂
They are so fun to watch, aren’t they?
They are 🙂 My sister took a video from my phone of some swallow chicks. Unfortunately, because of the angle and the light, they didn’t come out well.
This gave me goosebumps…seeing this precious cycle of life. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure Laurie.
Adorable LuAnn, right place at the right time gets you the Best shots! I have seen similar ones at Biltmore Estates in a little corner but was not camera ready. Glad you captured those hungry mouths and what a treat.
I have always enjoyed watching their antics, and although the lighting wasn’t great, I did have a front-row seat this time.
Powerful images!!! My jaw actually dropped seeing the second image.
They were adorable, weren’t they?
How wonderful that you got to witness the whole process from nest building to the maiden flight of those adorable chicks! Shot no.2 is truly amazing!
Thanks Madhu! I find it fascinating to watch wildlife in their familial interactions.