Jun 162017
 

I have three videos of nesting birds to share, all filmed between April and early June.

Purple Martins are North America’s largest Swallow and they arrive in North Texas in the Spring, to breed. One of our friends lives near Justin and Purple Martins have made use of her nest boxes and gourds for several years.

Purple Martins

Male Purple Martin

She invited us to to visit in April when the birds were busy building nests. We returned in early June when the young Martins were poking their heads out of the nests, eagerly waiting for their parents to return with dragonflies and other insects to eat. The video also features a House Finch, House Sparrows, a Lark Sparrow, Eastern Bluebirds, and Northern Mockingbirds.

 

Cliff Swallows

Cliff Swallow in mud nest

The second video features Cliff Swallows. These also breed in North Texas in the Spring and last year we discovered a colony building their mud nests under the turnpike near our house in Farmers Branch.

In May we decided to find out if they had returned to the same spot to nest so we could shoot some video of these acrobatic fliers.

Little Blue Heron

 

The final video was filmed at the Rookery at UTSWMC, in Dallas. Several species of birds have visited the Rookery to breed since the 1930s. We saw Great, Cattle, and Snowy Egrets, Little Blue and Black-crowned Night Herons, White Ibis, and Anhinga. Large numbers of young birds were demanding food and the noise was incredible. A helicopter was assisting with some construction work nearby and this contributed to the din – combined with the stench of hundreds of nesting birds this visit was a real assault on the senses !

Great Egrets

Black-crowned Night Heron

Anhinga

Cattle Egret

Snowy Egret

White Ibis

 

 

 

Below are some links to websites where you can search for information about the species featured in these videos. For further reading and some great photos of the UTSWMC Rookery I have included a link to a journal article by Chris Jackson.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Audubon Guide to North American Birds

Journal – The Amazing UTSWMC Rookery

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