Greater Striped Swallow fledgling by Maree  Clarkson
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Greater Striped Swallow fledgling by 


Camera : Canon EOS 550D
Taken in my back-yard (Tarlton Gauteng, South Africa)

After my Greater Striped Swallows (Cecropis cucullata) returned on the 25th September 2013, a bit late, normally they’re here at the beginning of September, they managed to rebuild their nest in the pump house and this morning I found one of their fledglings inside the walled yard surrounding the pump house. This in itself is not a problem as it is quite safe there, I just hope the parents know it is there!

But I needn’t have worried. As I was taking photographs, they were circling overhead, twittering warnings and in general looking like they were going to attack me any moment. I sealed off the gate so nothing could get inside and left it in peace. Of course I will be checking on it often and probably put it inside the pumphouse for the night as we’ve been having heavy showers every night for the past week.

The Greater Striped Swallow is a large swallow and breeds in southern Africa, mainly in South Africa, Namibia and southern Zimbabwe. It is migratory wintering further north in Angola, Tanzania and southern Zaire.

The eggs are glossy white with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch (so I presume there might be one or two more babies somewhere). Incubation is by the female alone for 17–20 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 23–30 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

This is a bird of dry open country, such as grassland, and has a preference for hills and mountains. It avoids more wooded areas, but is often found around human habitation.

  1. 14th December 2013 – FEATURED in African Art & Photography

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
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“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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Comments

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 1 year ago

    Thanks Maree for sharing, I will hold thumbs and am looking forward to see him growing.

  • I’m also rooting for the little chap Liz, hope his parents keep an eye on him.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 1 year ago

    Oh, what’s troubling you, little grumpy gus? Your parents will bounce off Maree’s head if necessary…. What a face, what a story.

  • thanks Sheila! You must see the little face if I get any closer! Enough to deter the most determined predator!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 1 year ago

    So cute! Good luck to the little fellow/gal. Hope it grows up strong.

  • Thanks Dot. I brought it inside for the night, will put it back early in the morning.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • PineSinger
    PineSingerover 1 year ago

    Aw he is so cute all ruffled in his youth!

  • Ain’t he just Pine? Thank you for the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 1 year ago

    Aww… so untidy… but soon be be beautiful and handsome… lovely capture Maree and wonderful that you are keeping an eye on him…

  • Thank you Andrea! Yea, just like the parents. Had to bring him inside last night and put him out at dawn and the parents were there in a flash.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • jozi1
  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 1 year ago

    Congrats on the feature
    Maree!

  • Many thanks Liz, love sharing the page with you!

    – Maree Clarkson

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