[Tweeters] Violet-green Swallow Playing?

Jeremy Schwartz jschwartz1124 at gmail.com
Fri May 10 10:58:21 PDT 2019

Hello Tweeters!

I noticed some interesting behavior among a flock of 8-9 Violet-green
Swallows at an urban wetland in my patch in the Bothell area.

I was walking there early morning today, noting the usual swirling
gathering of VGs over a broad area of open water. The group then began to
tighten their cluster a little, and I noticed one bird above the others
with a small feather in its beak. This individual then dropped the feather
as the birds underneath banked and reeled in what looked like an attempt
catch it. None of them did, and the feather landed floating on the water's
surface. Then each of the birds swooped down in attempt to pick it up! One
eventually did and flew off it with it, with of the group in hot pursuit.

I know it's not advised to apply human thoughts and intentions to birds,
but these guys looked for all the world like they were playing a game with
this feather. Is that possible? Corvids are definitely smart enough to do
so, I'd just never heard of it in something like a swallow.

Has anyone else heard of or seen anything similar?

Thanks, and keep watching the skies!

Lake Forest Park
jschwartz1124 AT gmail DOT com
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