Sunday, July 18, 2010


Our baby swallows are still in the boxes outside my back porch. I love hearing them chirp. There are several in each box. This morning as I watched, I noticed that the parents not only carry food into their young, they also carry out droppings. They do all they can to keep the nest clean. Isn't that wonderful? 

These babies are fully feathered and nearly ready to vacate the nest. So, at full-size it has to be more work to keep the nest clean. Bigger birds, bigger droppings. It's no wonder parent birds begin to lose weight as their youngsters continue to grow.

The bird at right is a baby sticking his head outside the nest box. I tried to get a photo of his parents feeding him, but my camera isn't as fast as a flying swallow. 
We have bird seed feeders for other birds, but offer nothing but bird houses for the swallows. I'm thinking it might be nice to raise meal worms again and offer them to the swallows when they return next year. I used to grow meal worms in a large enclosed canister full of corn meal. The worms pupated and became beetles that reproduced and I always had a ready supply of live food for the finches I was raising. Haven't raised meal worms for many, many years, but it is tempting to do so. Then again, swallows do such a good job of ridding us of mosquitoes, do I want to feed them something else?

If you want to raise meal worms too, below are a couple of sites that give directions. Keep in mind, that I did well with one big container for everything. Just reached in to scoop around for the worms when I wanted them to feed the birds. They were always plentiful. I left the beetle and pupaes alone. The eggs were virtually invisible in the corn meal.

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