Click on picture for larger view.
Late spring the Tree Swallows (Iridoprocne bicolor) arrive in SW Michigan.
They're small swallows, about the size of a sparrow.
First order of business is scouting out the area for a nice place to build a nest.
This looks like the perfect place to raise a family. Nice box, predator protection, and it's sitting in the middle of a field full of insects.
Our nest boxes are in pairs about fifteen feet apart. Bluebirds won't nest that close to bluebirds. Swallows won't nest that close to swallows. Bluebirds and swallows don't mind nesting that close to each other. There's a nest box for each of them.
Swallows love to use lots of white feathers in the nest. Our neighbor has chickens, white geese, and all the white feathers a swallow could want.
This swallow claimed the box by moving in feathers before she started building the nest.
By the end of May there were pretty white eggs in the box, almost impossible to see because of all the white feathers.
For every feather I pushed aside, two others popped up to get in the camera's way.
June 13 there are six hungry hatchlings in the luxurious feather bed.
Mom and Dad are dive bombing my head and clicking at me while I'm taking this picture.
The babies are dark and not easily seen or photographed.