There was also a lot of 'cotton wood' floating around last weekend in
Franklin Co. I think it may be from Poplar trees. At times it looks like a
snow flurry... I bet it makes for very soft nesting material.
On Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 5:55 PM, Charlotte Bill <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Last week, watching Bank Swallows fly over the Missisquoi River between
> Enosburg and East Berkshire, I noticed a swallow swoop down, grab a small
> ball of white “fluff” in its beak, and fly away.
> I also noticed several other small clumps of this white “fluff” skipping
> along the sandbar in the river a few feet downwind from six Ring-billed
> Gulls that were splashing in the river and preening on the sandbar.
> Then a Bank Swallow swooped in and grabbed another piece of “fluff.” The
> swallow flew out of sight far down-river.
> The Birders Handbook (Erhlich, Dobkin, and Wheye) identifies Bank Swallow
> nest material as including “… usu[ally] abundant feathers” (400).
> Bank Swallows used to nest in this location but not for a few years, since
> the river bank slumped. Even though they no longer nest right here, swallows
> still work this particular section of the river - perhaps because of the
> presence of gulls and feathers?
> Charlotte Bill
> Enosburgh, VT