Juvenile Northern Rough-winged Swallows
Susan and I took a walk up Chippewa Creek in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this morning. (Okay, technically that section is within the Cleveland Metro Parks purview.) A creek walk is part of a ritual we’ve done with our grandchildren for the past five or six years. Our leader today was our six-year-old granddaughter, Lily. This kid takes to the water like a duck and is turning into an accomplished fisher as well—to mix a metaphor.
So while Susan and I paid a lot of attention to the avian activity around the creek, Lily snagged about 10 pounds of minnows with her little net. In the heat of the day we came upon a family of Northern Rough-winged Swallows, six juveniles, plus adults feeding their brood.
The species is not uncommon in our area—unless you’re working on a census in the park, as we did all last week, and did not see a single Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Today, we walked up on this clutch of birds, which did not seem to care a bit about us; looked at us hopefully in fact.