The Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) is our commonest swallow at Leaning Oaks. They are early arrivals and we usually have our first birds of the year in the early days of March. Our records span until the middle of September, although most are gone by the third week of August. It is the only swallow we have found breeding on the property. When we were building our pond, we started by removing a few Douglas-fir trees that were in the way and were shading out our Garry Oak Meadow. Four of them we had topped to provide tall snags for wildlife trees. These were worked on by Hairy, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers and Red-breasted Nuthatches. The cavities that they created have been used by Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Violet-green Swallows for nesting every year since they were created. Dead trees with cavities in them are essential habitat for a number of species of birds ranging from swallows to ducks.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.