Fight or Flight

Blue Swallows II

I happened to be outside gardening when I was distracted from the sounds and site of five Blue Swallows chasing one Blue Swallow.  All swarming above one bird house.  I’ve never heard these sounds of threat come from these birds before.  Their flight pattern toward one specific male Blue Swallow was direct and aggressive.  This one bird was carrying a hawk or Barred owl feather with him as he flew offensively with one goal in mind… to enter the birdhouse.

I was able to catch part of the drama.

What is the big deal with the feather?  Why is this bird battling to keep it and use it to “shape” his nest? Does anyone know what the value of the feather for completing the nest?  Is a predator’s feather sacred for raising a family?

I have taken several shots of the Blue Swallow trying to place this feather in the birdhouse’s small enterance.  Not only once did this bird try to maneuver the feather through the small entrance way, but over six attempts until he finally gave up. Once the Blue Swallow left and I knew the coast was clear, I decided to open the birdhouse up to see what the big deal was.  To my surprise there were about a half dozen other feathers perfectly placed  in the nest.

Here is the captured event.


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