[Tweeters] Violet-green Swallow Playing?

Bob Sundstrom ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Fri May 10 12:49:29 PDT 2019


There’s a BirdNote story on this very topic: https://www.birdnote.org/show/tree-swallows-and-feathers

Bob Sundstrom

Sent from my iPhone


> On May 10, 2019, at 10:58 AM, Jeremy Schwartz <jschwartz1124 at gmail.com> wrote:

>

> 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!

>

> Jeremy

> Lake Forest Park

> jschwartz1124 AT gmail DOT com

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