Violet-green Swallows Are House Hunting



About a week ago I began seeing Violet-green Swallows (Tachycineta thalassina) flying overhead. The year before last, I was fortunate to have Violet-green Swallows nesting in one of my birdhouses but they also nested in this same oak tree last year. The photographs taken below were snapped a couple of hours before sunset when I first spotted the swallows about a week ago.

I noticed the female (above) and male (below on the left) flying around and perching near this oak that has several good cavity nesting holes.

Nest building activity for many species occurs primarily in the morning so my experience has been that this is the best time of day to observe this behavior, plus the light is best for photographing the bird’s activities in the morning.

This one oak tree has two very popular cavity entrances, one on the East side of the tree and one on the West side.

Not only was I lucky enough to see a pair of Violet-green Swallows enter the tree cavity several times, I saw them carrying nesting material into the cavity entrance as well.

I decided this past Sunday to check out the tree in the early morning light having seen some of the swallows approaching an entrance on the East side of the tree.

From the back, this bronze-headed swallow at the cavity entrance looks like the female as she disappears into the tree cavity.

I shot some video of the pair as they checked out the nest cavity and perched near the entrance. I hope you enjoy it!

For more more up to the minute news on bird conservation issues, check my “Birds in the News” page, brought to you by the American Bird Conservancy. You will also find posts on local birds and birding in California on my blog The Birder’s Report.

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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