[CT Birds] Tree Swallow Help

Tammy Eustis teustis at killingworthlibrary.org
Sat May 15 17:16:22 EDT 2010

Hi, Elaine!
When I read your email, I remembered reading something about tree swallow nesting behavior in the Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior (vol.1). 
The introduction to the swallow section reads: "Imagine that you have visited a tree swallow nesting area for a few days and found the birds actively feeding, nest-building, and courting. You may return the next day at the same time to discover that there is not a single swallow to be seen. They may stay away for up to four days, and then, just as suddenly, return. No one has been able to account for these unexpected departures or explain where they go."
Then under the "Breeding" section, they state: "During incubation the adults may temporarily abandon the nest area for several days, leaving the eggs uncovered and unprotected. This behavior makes the incubation period longer."
So that doesn't solve the mystery, but don't give up hope! I have friends who had tree swallows and bluebirds nesting in close proximity, and it all seemed to work out.
- Tammy Eustis, Chester
-----Original Message-----
From: Elaine Taylor [mailto:etbchs at aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 04:27 PM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: [CT Birds] Tree Swallow Help

Tree Swallows settled in the bird house-same one as last year. We recently put up another house for our Blue Bird population about 75 feet away from the Tree Swallows. I noticed that the activity around the first house had slowed and the activity around the new house increased by both BB and TS. I thought perhaps the Tree Swallows were actually fledglings, so I checked the Tree Swallow house. I wasn't even "attacked" as would be the case in the past. I carefully opened the box door and slightly tipped the top of the nest enough to peek inside..and 4 little eggs were there-abandoned by the mom. Is it possible that the Mom just up and left her babies or is it normal that she would fly about during the day and nest on the eggs from time to time. I see the Swallows peeking inside, but no one goes in anymore-even before I looked at the nest or put up the new house. What do you suppose is going on? _______________________________________________ This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org 

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