Every summer we find hundreds of Barn Swallows calling Grouse Mountain their summer home. This year has been no exception. These birds can be found zipping and diving all over the mountian in their endless pursuit of insects to feed on. They can also be seen diving into the bear ponds for either a quick drink or a quick bath!
Barn Swallows are the most wide-spread species of swallow and can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere in the summertime. They migrate south for the winter before returning each spring.
When they arrive at the start of May they will begin to gather mouthfuls of mud which they use to construct nests that are attached to buildings, usually under the eaves or other shelter from the weather. Interestingly enough, while they used to also nest on cliff faces, they have come to rely on man-made structures and now nest exclusively on them.
After hatching, young Barn Swallows grow quickly, with both the adult male and female birds feeding them, and after 18-23 days the young are ready to leave the nest. We've been watching one nest that was constructed on top of a light bulb of the building where we store our bear food. The young birds are now very close fledgling and within a couple days should be following mom and dad around the mountain and learning how to catch their food!
Here are some shots from this morning - enjoy!