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barn swallow babies waiting for mama to bring food (this afternoon, it was dragon flies) from a nest constructed on a residential brick arch in Houston, TX
mud nests plastered under such surfaces as the street overpasses, wooden gazebos, house eaves or on outside door-frame ledges; they begin arriving to the Houston-area in late March from winter homes in Central and South America. The majority probably made a phenomenally long-distance trip from South America, even from the Galapagos Islands.
Barn-swallow nests are marvels of construction. Adult birds fly to the sides of bayous, ditches and creeks or to roadside water puddles to pick up tiny mud pellets, which they mix with grass twigs. Then they methodically adhere the mud pellets against the sides of an overhang or on a ledge. The birds first build the nest foundation, then frame the walls to build an open cup - a half-cup on a vertical surface, a complete cup on a horizontal surface - 3 inches across and 2 inches deep. They line the nest with soft grasses covered with a layer of soft feathers.
Spotted on May 26, 2015
Submitted on May 26, 2015
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