While it is the function of most outdoor writers/photographers to concentrate their efforts on those species that are in critical states throughout the world, I keep finding myself pulled toward those species in abundance. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not a very good photographer, and these creatures lend themselves to more opportunities due to their sheer numbers, or that there’s something in me that feels a little bad at how often they go overlooked.
This has currently led me to the barn swallow, a bird that will soon be featured in NEBRASKAland next to my byline. My love affair with swallows came when they repeatedly set up shop beneath my deck a couple of springs ago. While I am still not fond of the excrement they leave behind, I do like to watch them. One of the most intriguing acts I have seen them do is defend their nest. They do so, like many birds, by dive-bombing would-be attackers. The curious thing about barn swallows, however, is that they dive-bomb with not only mom and dad, but also a number of other swallows. One time during one of these assaults as I swept the patio beneath my deck, there were at least 12 swallows hovering above me as they defended a nest.
I think when given time that any animal or plant species is fascinating. And barn swallows will most definitely be no exception. Now we’ll just have to see if the writer/photographer can make this bird as interesting in NEBRASKAland as it is in real life.