Mrs Swallow Has Started Brooding

She calmly let me take this with the telephoto lens just now.

The following are excepted from Vinehousefarm

Swallow diet and food

Entirely flying insects caught on the wing.

Swallow nesting and breeding habits

The Swallow’s association with mankind is of course very much about the species’ adapting to use manmade structures for nesting. Indeed, thousands of years ago it is likely that the Swallow’s population was much smaller as it was reliant on natural structures – e.g. the entrance to a cave – for nesting. The nest site is typically a ledge or timber beam in a barn, garage or other outbuilding. However, Swallows will sometimes choose the most unlikely site which might, for example, be a ledge in the small porch of a house. Overall though, the Swallow is normally looking to fly into some sort of building, then locate a suitable platform to build its nest on which is out of the way of predators – so often high up in the roof area – and also relatively dark and cool in temperature. The nest is built of wet mud (which then hardens to form a solid structure) and combined with plant materials, then lined with dried grass and feathers. There are two to three broods per season with around 4-5 eggs in each. The female incubates the eggs, though both parents feed the young.

Habitat

Swallows need open country, especially rich pasture, with suitable places to nest. They also favour locations with nearby stretches of water, with this aiding the abundance of their food of flying insects – as does farming areas with livestock, versus intensely farmed arable areas which will harbour relatively few insects. So an ideal habitat might be a rural farm with plenty of old barns and other buildings, cattle in rich pastures surrounded by hedgerows, plus a lake or river close-by.

{Brooding time is bewteen 12-17 days.

So if we are lucky we might be able to get some photos like this one. It is exciting and they may do three broods so we might have guests all summer!!}