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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