Saturday, July 07, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: The Swallows of Benson


To see what other participants have posted, visit Saturday Snapshot's home, At Home With Books. You'll also find the easy rules and regulations there, just in case you want to join in the fun. (Of course you do!)



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Adult barn swallow keeping an eye on me
Our stay down in southeastern Arizona ends this week with our annual stop at the Ace Hardware store in Benson, Arizona. Do Denis and I love Ace Hardware so much that we always have to stop? Erm... no (although Denis knows his way around our neighborhood store here in Phoenix). Something else draws us there in June.

The Ace Hardware in Benson is in a large strip mall on Route 90, a road that heads south out of Benson through Tombstone before heading east to Bisbee. The mall is roofed with those large red tiles, and there are nice big ledges underneath that are perfect for barn swallows to build nests in to raise their young. And that's exactly what they do. Barn swallows aren't the neatest birds in the world, and you'd think that people would fuss about their nests outside a busy store, but-- bless 'em-- they leave those barn swallows alone to get on with their lives. Something tells me that they enjoy looking up at those little young'uns as much as Denis and I do. 

Click on any of the photos to view them in larger sizes in a new window. As you can see by the photo above, if you stop and look up at the young birds, an adult or two do take up lookout positions to keep an eye on you.  When you see the rest of the photos, you'll understand why this is a Must Stop each and every June!

What are you lookin' at?

Hey, Ma! Over here!

A parent's work is never, ever done....

Oh oh. I think you looked better from up there!

60 comments:

  1. Beautiful photographs. I'm always amazed at how dumpy the babies look when the adults are so elegant and delicate. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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    1. I know what you mean-- the transformation is amazing!

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  2. Gorgeous photos. How lovely to be able to take such amazing photos of nature.

    I stick to flowers as they dont move so much :)

    Have a great weekend
    carol

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    1. Oh, I don't know-- I've had plenty of wildflower shots ruined by the errant breeze! LOL

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  3. What great pictures! I do love your pictures of birds. I love how you captured the one with his beak wide open, and there is just something in the bird's expression in that last picture -- so funny!

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    1. Yes. It was a young'un that misjudged its trajectory and had to land and regroup before making it back up on the ledge.

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  4. What lovely shots. Love the parenting one! ;)

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    1. Thanks-- I think that's my favorite of the group!

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  5. I just love that the store leaves them alone and the patrons don't complain! The babies look grumpy in the photo with their mouths closed.

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    1. They do, don't they? I don't think they care much for cameras.

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  6. These are awesome. The babies are precious.

    Our CVS lets the wrens nest year after year in the letters on the store.

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    1. That's great! I can see chasing pigeons away, but not swallows and wrens!

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  7. Wonderful bird shots again. Love the one with its beak open, and I must say the adult one looks like one I wouldn't mess with.
    I can certainly see why it's a Must Stop.

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    1. I don't think I'd want to act in a threatening manner with those adults around!

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  8. Barn swallows are so sweet! Those babies are all mouth lol.

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    1. I love how nature makes those beaks such an easy-to-see color for harried parents!

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  9. Wow, these are great! I love the haughtiness of the first one.

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    1. All dressed up in its swallow-tail coat. ;-)

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  10. Cathy - Oh, these are absolutely wonderful!! I especially love the one of the mother feeding her babies. No wonder you love visiting there.

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    1. We always get there early in the morning, and it just gets the day off to a wonderful start.

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  11. How wonderful to be able to find them each time you visit. Sounds like a good nesting place.

    Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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    1. It is. I love to watch them swooping back and forth across the parking lot gathering insects.

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  12. Great photos with funny titles!!

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  13. I adore swallows. When I was a little girl, they always nested in the barn and I loved to climb up on the hay bales and watch them. Great pics!

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    1. How wonderful to be able to do that!

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  14. I too love the Barn Swallows and their grumpy looking little nestlings. I have a nest site I've been monitoring for a few years now.

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    1. Yes, I enjoyed your photos of them, Leslie!

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  15. We have a purple martin house with tons of swallows who do aerobatic shows for us every evening. They particularly love it when we mow the yard of course. There are a few barn swallows as well but we had to stop them from making nests in the rafters of our partially enclosed patio. Besides the huge mess they make, the babies die in the excessive heat up there. Hate to scare them away but it's necessary.

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    1. In that case, it certainly would be necessary. My grandparents had a big martin house, and we loved to watch them, too.

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  16. What great shots and a sweet tradition to visit the barn swallows. Here's Mine

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  17. My father-in-law has barn swallows. He does everything he can to save them, but between his dog and his daughters 2 dogs I am not sure how many survive...

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  18. I can definitely see the appeal - those are great swallow photos! My parents have a swallow nest in their . . . not sure what you'd call it, but it's an over hang attached to their house where they park their car. It does get quite messy for that time each year when they're nesting and feeding the babies.

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    1. I've always welcomed all wildlife to our property, and I hope that never changes. *Fingers crossed*

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  19. I enjoyed seeing your photos. Thanks.

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. I love their colour. What great shots! I especially love your first one. Just gorgeous! Here's mine: http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/saturday-snapshot-07-07-2012/

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  21. Haha aww, I like the photographs where you've caught the birds squawking!

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    1. And they can make a racket, too! LOL

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  22. Love it--those are some birds with attitude!

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  23. Now that's what I call the "evil eye" ;) Cute pics :)

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    1. Can you tell I have a thick hide when it comes to the Evil Eye? LOL

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  24. These are all wonderful! We have so many barn swallows around here and they are messy. Ick. I hate the bird poop! But the birds are fascinating and the babies are sweet. I enjoy watching them too. Love your photos!

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  25. That first one is a very handsome fellow. And you're right about the second picture....very much the attitude!

    Here's my Snapshot.

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    1. I like animals with attitude... unless it's that black leopard at the San Diego Zoo. That critter scared the puddin' outta me once! LOL

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  26. I agree - fantastic! I hope you're staying cool out there in AZ!

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    1. I got my pool, and I got AC. I'm good to go! :-)

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  27. What a great shot of the parent swallow on the chair. I love to watch swallows fly, I'm glad the people at the store let them get on with things.

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    1. It's good to see that some people somewhere are more laidback about the natural world!

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  28. I just love the photos, and the idea that they are allowed to nest there. It brings natural life into commercial life. Wonderful.

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