Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Juvenile Barn Swallow School

If birds weren't fascinating enough, try imagining yourself a barn swallow juvenile learning to fly and land. And then imagine the aerial feats required to feed on flying insects and even glide over water to scoop up a drink!
Now that is fascinating. And it came as no surprise that fledglings, while learning and strengthening their wings, need to stop now and then to rest. And this is what I stumbled upon, three fledglings resting on a brick shelf, preening just a few feet away from me.
Over our heads, a whole group of swallows, mature and juvenile, were flying aerial maneuvers, the most delightful of which was the flight just millimeters above a man-made pond's surface to quinch an insect-loving thirst.

My sole reason for being outside at this moment was to escape a hospital waiting room's air conditioner. But I found an added delight in watching these juvenile swallows preen for a while, then rejoin their parents in the air.
To see more images of these swallows, visit Vickie Henderson Art.


  1. Wow, just love your water colors of that barn swallow!! Such a nice treat from any waiting room! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such nice comments.
    I have bookmarked this the work shown!!

  2. WOnderful post Vickie. I love and watch these guys every day.

  3. These are just delightful, Vickie! And I hope all is well...hospitals are not fun.

  4. What a serendipitous pleasure to find these waiting for you outside! You have such a wonderful feel for painting birds; I really enjoy your work.

  5. Thank you, everyone. No matter where I am, a glimpse of nature pulls me into it for a while and gives me a lift. I got such a treat out of these little birds sitting so close to me and only a few feet from the ground. The memory makes me smile now!

  6. Lovely sketches.... these are one of my most favorite birds! Here in Texas we have the Barn Swallow and the Cliff Swallow. I think it is the Cliff Swallow that builds their nests under the bridges and overpasses on our highways (we don't have any cliffs around here in the Rolling Plains).... I always worry about those birds learning to fly with traffic speeding by just a few feet below.


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.