Weekend Expedition 23: Swallows around Vancouver

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This weekend Expedition was a bit of a walk in the park, specifically two parks: Stanley Park on Saturday and Maplewood Park on Sunday. Nothing much was going on, and to be honest I was a bit worn out from Barn Owl work on Friday night; Sofi and I banded three chicks in rural Richmond and checked some nest boxes.

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I am cute, but I cause fatigue!

The original intention was to go out and get some last-minute Pollinator Week shots to wow you all with, but I got to Stanley Park late, and the best thing on offer were these lovely Barn Swallow chicks being fed by their parents. Over the course of the next three hours, I practiced shooting their incredibly high-speed prey deliveries, and saw the world of insects from the “FEED ME!!!” perspective of the chicks. ¬†Most of the prey seemed to be pupal Chironomidae, which were presumably taken by the adults skimming on the wing.

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Adult and chick together

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The reverse-the-head maneuver. I often use this when eating nachos, just to show off.

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The bright colour of the youngster’s gape is evident here. An easy target for the adult to aim for.

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I imagine this  would be somewhat disconcerting the first few times.

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Sears Portrait of the chicks.

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Contented and sleepy. This phase lasts approximately two minutes.

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Other species of swallow were also around, such as this juvenile Violet-green Swallow.

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An adult Tree Swallow beside a juvenile Barn Swallow.

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And an adult Violet-green Swallow.

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At Maplewood Park, we saw some Purple Martins perched above the beach.

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Female Purple Martin.

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The killer pollinator shots will have to wait for later in the year!

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