The marsh has seen a lot of activity. Territories have been staked, nests have been built, eggs have been laid and chicks are hatching! Female Red-Winged Blackbirds can be seen perched on cattails with insects and worms in their beaks as they check that it’s safe to make it to their nests of hungry broods without being noticed by predators. And if one watches carefully, one can see were nests live.
There are 3 chicks in this nest. Their eyes aren’t yet open, but their beaks are. Perpetually, it seems.
If you look very carefully, you can see mother on the left side of the nest. She has no problem returning with a human sitting nearby but not looking her way, but is careful to come in low, behind the nest, so as to not draw attention to it.
After feeding the brood, she perched up on top, but then noticed me and flew off. She came back with a beak full of bugs for her babies, but after this, was less direct in her path back. I sat on a bench, watching the swallows fly over the marsh – the blackbirds aren’t the only ones with mouths to feed — while my camera recorded some of the activity, then I left before I could draw attention to the nest or disturb the mother from carrying on her serious task.
As for the swallows, there are 3 types here: barn, tree and bank. The Barn Swallow is the most colourful and is the one with the very forked tail. They are amazing to watch as they dive for insects in the air.