Friday, July 19, 2013

Barn Swallow Update

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They were doing this yesterday morning. By afternoon, they were panting hard. We hosed down the top of the awning and the deck to give them some relief from the heat, but it wasn't enough. We know at least one died because it was hanging from the nest. Clint removed it. It was clearly dehydrated. There may be one to two more dead in the bottom of the nest. I could only confirm two living with the mirror. We will set up a shade canopy and a fan today to try to help them more. I hate seeing anyone or anything lose their child.

Update 7/22/2013: The last two baby swallows are doing great! I walked out the door early Sunday morning and when they saw me, they opened their mouths for food like they do their mama! I spoke to them, and they dove deep into their nest. I just stood there a minute and one started slowly up to see if I was still there. We played peek a boo for a few seconds. Our family named the last two "Mercy" and "Grace." It is through God's mercy and grace to us that we can extend it to these small creatures. 

The aluminum awning heats up very quickly. The deck absorbs and reflects the heat which makes it worse. I put a reflecting blanket on top of the awning, set up a shade canopy on the deck, and put a divider between our window a/c unit and where they nest. I also fill up two 40 gallon water containers and hose off the awning and deck. I set the fan blowing from the cool water onto the nest. On the days it is near 100 degrees, it only takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to lower the temperature, and it helps them be comfortable for a little over an hour. On the days where the temp is in the mid to lower 90s, just the fan and shade works if I fill the buckets once around noon. It's not much trouble, and we get to observe wildlife closely. It's also very satisfying to help them. If you have outside animals, these tips can be modified to help you keep them cool in the worst of summer's heat.  

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looking through our front door

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much cooler
Other pictures of the swallows.

Psalm 145:9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.