Juvenile Barn Swallows, Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa ------

The great weather we had lately continued and there was no doubt that paddling on the Mississippi River was a good choice today. We had some good German friends here a week ago and we told them that they are in paradise here in eastern Iowa. Paddling twice this week the same trip that they did last week makes me believe my own words 😉.

Almost back from our tour today and approaching Mud Lake Park we suddenly saw three juvenile swallows sitting on a piece of drift wood. I let the kayak carefully slide into a field of Arrow Heads, a water plant that is very common along the river. Parking the kayak between the plants makes it more stabil, increasing the chance for a sharp image. After I made some quick static shots the adult Barn Swallows suddenly arrived. The young swallows stretched their necks and called for food but the adults did not deliver. Immediately I thought I was the problem, maybe I was too close to the immature birds? But after watching the situation for a little while I figured out that we just witnessed an important stage of a young swallow’s life.

The adults didn’t care much about my presence, they just tried to encourage their offspring to catch their own food. They approached them, but didn’t feed them. I shot like a maniac. Being in a kayak doesn’t deliver always a sharp image but I got a good share. It all became clear when all juveniles suddenly took off and joined their parents in their efforts to catch insects in flight.