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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:21 AM   #1
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I ran into a swallow's nest, got attacked by both parents (a first time experience for me), set a proper distance (inside my car with the window half rolled up), and got these photos today. I kept them small because I wanted to post more than a few:

Mama, papa, food!


Cropped CU of the face of one of the little ones to demo actual size of photo








Alright, alright, here I am, here I am...



Yum yum...thanks mum (mum looks a bit overworked)



Gawd, it's crowded in this little nest!



Keep the nest clean now, otherwise we're all in trouble. One chick says, good idea, outside the nest...bombs away!



Oooohh, that feels good.



More food, more food!



The most wonderful thing about this experience was the way the parents protected the nest and how the kids kept it clean by crapping outside the environment. No diapers needed in this little group.



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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:42 AM   #2
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Great series of barn swallow pictures, Norm! The first one is the most precious - all of those young swallows sitting in the nest with their mouth's wide open - it's great!

Is that what I think is happening in that next to last picture? :-)
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:48 AM   #3
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If humans were birds the diaper companies would go broke. I was quite happy to get all of the babes with open mouths, and I must say that I was timing the pooping too. I've been quite amazed at how clean animals are with their environment. It isn't the first time I've seen this sort of thing. The avocet always left the water and crapped on shore where it wouldn't contaminate the water. Amazing stuff to me.
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:58 AM   #4
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The swallows might do a good job of keeping their own nest clean, but from your pictures and my own experiences with swallows nesting in the eaves of homes, they do a number on everything else around them!

I didn't know that about the avocet. If you saw it consistently leaving the water to do its business I believe it, but I wouldn't have imagined that that would have been the case...
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:59 AM   #5
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haha...great shots norm...kinda gross..but nice...

gj

Vito
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 1:33 AM   #6
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Ha ha, Vito, perhaps it would be slightly more gross if these little babies didn't have the instinct to crap outside the nest. Gross from our perspective, but from their perspective extremely intelligent.

Geoff, guaranteed, I saw it every single time the Avocet needed to relieve itself. I noticed the same thing at this nest of swallows. These guys and gals crapped about 5 times, and each time it was exactly as recorded here, outside the nest. Again, I was impressed by their cleanliness. I have more than one crap shot too. In fact, in the above shots you are actually seeing 2 crap shots and if you inspect the shots closely it's sort of obvious that this isn't the same incident, if you will.
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 2:33 AM   #7
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great moment you got there...thanks for sharing...

regards
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 8:02 AM   #8
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Neat series Norm, as we can see that nest is busy and the poor parents wish it will be over soon. Highest pressure on birds is when chicks are born and its time to feed them. They can eat more than their own weight in a single day. Imagine now the parents that needs to feed 5 hungry mouth, the energy they consum doing so and they need to eat too.

Thanks for the nice shots

Cheers
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 9:12 AM   #9
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I really like that first shot. Looks like a barbershop quartet.
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 10:10 AM   #10
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Love the first shot!
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