Photo of the Week - July 12, 2013

Adult Violet-green swallow in flight; about to feed begging juvenile
Lakewood, WA
July 12, 2013

Swallows are a great summertime pleasure in our part of the country. Arriving in late spring, they are harbingers of warm days and pleasant outdoor evenings. As the sun gets low in the sky you can see various species of swallows skimming the surface of local ponds on the hunt for flying insects.

Violet-green swallows are summer residents in American West. Although they resemble Tree swallows with their dark backs and white underbellies, these swallows shine with an iridescent green when they catch the light just right.

After juvenile Violet-green swallows leave the nest (23-24 days) both parents continue to feed them. You can see the youngsters perched on high branches and snags, frantically beating their wings to signal their parents of their seemingly endless hunger. The actual transfer of freshly caught insect to hungry juvenile takes less than a second of action-packed aerial acrobatics.