Monday, April 20, 2015

Swallows and Geese

As you can see, "Silly as a Goose" is going to be my next Animals Sayings stitch. After lurking on eBay for several months, I even managed to find a piece of R & R Golden Walnut - a color that is no longer in production.

We had glorious weather over the weekend, and that made for happy birds.  The swallows were very active - I've counted as many as twelve birds.

And it was while listening to the swallow chatter and watching them house-hunt, that I noticed that there were two kinds of swallows. 

This is a 'new' bird - at least new in that I've realized that not all the swallows are Violet-green Swallows.

I have a pair of Tree Swallows actively checking out the bird houses. 

In flight they very much resemble the Violet-green Swallows as they are the same size and both kinds have bright white bellies. 

The biggest different is the feather pattern of the head around the eyes.  The Tree Swallows have a dark head down past and around their eyes. 

Here is the pair - the male on the left, female on the right.
Tree Swallows like fields and wetlands near water, so I am pleasantly surprised that I have a pair.   

The males have an iridescent blue back that gleams in the sunlight much like the throat feathers on a hummingbird.

And here for comparison's sake, is a Violet-green Swallow.  Note the white around the eye.

The head feathers are green - thus the name.

So though it shares the white belly, the white around the eye and the green head make it pretty easy to tell apart from the Tree Swallows.  As I alluded to early in this post, the two birds also sound very different. The Violet-green Swallows chatter, while the Tree Swallows make a liquid gurgling sound. Click on the links above to listen to the two birds' typical voices if you are interested.  The Barn Swallows should be arriving any day now! If you are interested in finding out what spring birds are coming to your area, BirdCast can provide you with that information including the species which are beginning to arrive, arriving, and peaking! 


Vickie said...

Very interesting Beth. And great pictures. Love Silly Goose. :)

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Love the picture of the Mr. and Mrs. sitting side by side. You really can see the differences in that one. Have a good week!

Barb said...

The swallows are such pretty birds.

Weronika said...

Lovely pictures Beth.

Margaret said...

Very interesting indeed! I always enjoy your knowledge of birds. Great pics! Looking forward to your next BOAF stitch too.

Maggee said...

Thanks for the comparison--barely perceptible, unless you know what to look for... I would be checking for the white eye 'line'...the rest of the similarities are pretty close! Silly as a Goose is one of my faves! Hugs!

Andrea said...

Wonderful photos. The goose looks like a fun stitch.