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I Get the Next One! by Kenneth Haley

Throw Pillows

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As one barn swallow chick munches a mayfly, its siblings hungrily wait their turns as mom approaches. Photo taken near the Willamette River in Oregon, August 2008.


  • naturelover
    natureloverover 6 years ago

    A terrific capture- !!!

  • Carla Wick/Jandelle Petters
    Carla Wick/Jan...over 6 years ago

    EXCELLENT photo Ken! that expression of the back bird is just classicly sibling!

  • Gracias, Carlita. That whole episode was an amazing encounter, which I stumbled upon during a lunch hour photo session. I never saw the mom and kids together like that again, though a couple days later in the same area I saw and heard the little ones flying around the stream gleefully, able to catch their own bugs. They were too fast for me to get a shot of them. Maybe I’ll see them next spring and summer. It was a blessing, all I can say.

    – Kenneth Haley

  • AngelaFoster
    AngelaFosterover 6 years ago

    a wonderful action shot , great colours and detail

  • Carla Wick/Jandelle Petters
    Carla Wick/Jan...over 6 years ago

    I’m honestly completely in LOVE with this image. I have watched barn swallows for years…down in TN they seemed to never have a nest with less then 6! The colors u caught and the patterns…and those EYES of the eating one as well as the expression of the waiting 2…just…>sigh<…lucky you!

  • DiEtte Henderson
    DiEtte Hendersonabout 6 years ago

    What a wonderful shot, catching so much action. It’s like they are showing off for you.

  • jesika
    jesikaabout 6 years ago


  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...about 6 years ago

    It must have been Awesome to have been able to experience this sight, and to photograph it too! Lovely!!

  • It was like a gift, truly, Carolyn. As I approached the scene I took some shots that were not nearly as dramatic as the ones I have posted, though even those would have excited me normally. As I got closer and saw what was happening, I kept praying under my breath that they wouldn’t be spooked. The mother made about five passes with the mayflies, and I shot rapidly as soon as the little ones opened their beaks in anticipation. Each feeding pass lasted about 10 seconds, if that. I tried to focus on the center of the action each time, though I realized that with my 300mm lens plus 1.4 teleconverter I had a narrow focal range. I changed positions once to get a different angle and took off the teleconverter, which widened the focal range a bit. The lighting was diffused, a thin overcast, which helped a lot, and the backdrop was the stream, providing a solid yet smooth background for contrast. During the moments when mom was hunting, I took shots of the fledglings jockeying for position on the little branch. In the span of maybe 5 minutes I took over 200 shots, of which most are usable, though I only polished about 40. Finally the little ones got nervous with my presence and they flew off, and I got one last shot of mom flying low over the water, now tiny in comparison to these close-ups. As I walked back to the car to return to work (this was a lunch-hour excursion), my camera suddenly quadrupled in value because of the treasures I knew were on the memory card. No other way to describe it, the experience was a gift.

    – Kenneth Haley

  • Diane Schuster
    Diane Schusterabout 6 years ago

    Fantastic timing!

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