David Krughoff Tree SwallowTree swallows are fans of bird boxes and don't mind busy spaces. Here a male tends to one of its chicks.
Time spent at McKell Park in Regina is exhilarating. When a visit was planned, our feet hit the floor long before the alarm clock sounded reveille. A simple breakfast and coffee during the drive from Mortlach enabled us to arrive shortly after dawn.
Feathered residents accompanied by frogs hold concert every morning. Life doesn’t get any better than this! Many of the birds are habituated to human presence. I’ve never been so close to wary species like red-winged blackbirds and meadowlarks. Their trust places considerable responsibility on visitors.
Sadly, people regularly enter the park with dogs off-leash. Waterfowl were chased and killed during one of our visits. We discussed this with stewards of the refuge and hopefully additional signs will make a difference.
To our delight, male tree swallows stood guard at nesting boxes on the south side of the park. Tree swallows are cavity nesters. Pairs naturally seek holes in trees, but will also thrive in bluebird houses. They prefer wetland sites with plenty of insects. Parents may carry 20 or more insects in a tight mass during each trip to their nestlings!
Sharie and I sat quietly, observing them for hours at a time. We were utterly captivated by this species. After returning home our thoughts remained with them. “I wonder if more eggs have hatched,” or “Let’s go and see if the early hatchlings have fledged.”
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