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Bonding with the Barn Swallows: Nature's Best Teachers

Adele Barger Wilson

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ISBN 10: 1494481464 / ISBN 13: 9781494481469
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Condition: Good Soft cover
From Books Express (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Bonding with the Barn Swallows: Nature's ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First - may be Reissue.

About this title


Replete with captivating photos and descriptions of Barn Swallow activity, this book's 186 pages convey the discovery, excitement, and wonder of three pairs of Barn Swallows nesting at arm's length from the only outside doorway to the author's home. This true-life adventure, illustrated by 117 full-color photos, occurs over two summers in the central Appalachian Mountains of the eastern US. A pair of Barn Swallows builds a nest, successfully defends it, and raises five chicks in it, all photographically documented. The following summer, two different pairs of Barn Swallows use the same nest to raise a total of nine more chicks. Fascinating details of the nesting behavior of these birds are provided. The author painstakingly clarifies her observations in light of research on this species and on passerines in general. Many of the observations fit into the molds of typical Barn Swallow behavior, yet others present topics for future studies. There are photos showing a male swallow perching at interesting locations at night to guard his mate while she is on the nest. Also included are numerous photos of hatchlings, chicks, and soon-to-be fledglings, both alone in the nest and being fed by their parents. Aside from presenting what she has learned about the behavior of her local Barn Swallow population, the author goes to great lengths to describe the visual nature of their plumages. First-year and adult plumages are contrasted, as well as male versus female. An extra bonus is the inclusion of photos of five juvenile Barn Swallows taken just nine to ten days after fledging, showing remarkable differences between their plumage patterns. Yet the author goes one step beyond describing mere observations. She shares real-life accounts of her personal interactions with these charming birds. There is one male swallow in particular who demonstrates unusual tameness. At first bewildered and perplexed by the swallow’s behavior, the author eventually ascertains the reason for his friendliness. The male swallow chatters to the author one morning while perching on the porch rail at a distance of only three feet. Nine days later, from the utility wire, he again attempts to communicate with her through his unmistakable body language. Two days later, the mystery is solved. Circumstances reveal the content of the male swallow’s message to her. Throughout the course of the book, the author discerns twelve different teachings, or lessons, that Barn Swallows impart to us by their behavior. These lessons consist of principles of daily living that we humans could do well to replicate. Both adults and children can enjoy this book. Regardless of one’s reading level, the photos alone are certain to provide a valuable learning experience.

About the Author:

After relocating to a rural area in the central Appalachian Mountains of the US, Adele Barger Wilson was delighted to discover Barn Swallows nesting near her door in 2011. She has been a fanatical lover of birds since childhood and, since 1988, has enjoyed wildlife photography, specializing in birds and deer. Her former professions have included those of legal secretary, data reductionist, and graphic illustrator.

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