2016 June Squamish Estuary Tree Swallows

GSB_Canada-1591-20160611_SquamishDespite rain showers and a stiff, cold breeze, we went for a walk in the Squamish estuary. Over the years, volunteers have nailed bird houses to various dead trees and we were fortunate enough to see an active nest of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) – both parents were busy catching bugs on the wing and bringing them back to their young (it wasn’t possible to tell how many were in the bird house).  I was using a 400 mm with a 1.4 X teleconverter on a tripod, but probably had my shutter speed set a bit slow for such a fast bird (I had it set at 1/1,600 sec – 1/2,000 would have been better for such a fast bird). The tree swallow is a migratory passerine bird (i.e.  birds of the order Passeriformes – that have 3 forward facing toes and one facing back, so that they can perch easily) breeds in North America and winters in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. A few shots of the parents feeding their young can be seen by clicking this link or the picture to the left.