12.18.2007

Unexpected


This morning we got a phone call in the office: "Is Ranger Swampy working today? We have a bird that's hurt and we want her to come get it."

My co-worker and I headed out for the bird. By the time we got to it, it had died - the apparent victim of a window strike. We both looked at it and immediately knew it was a swallow, but neither of us knew what kind of swallow. About the only swallow we might see in the early winter here is a tree swallow. We both knew it wasn't a tree swallow...so, we were off to the guides, both print and online.

Our conclusion was that this is a cave swallow. But, we don't have cave swallows here. They see them out on the coast, but not here. But still, the field marks matched those of the cave swallow. I sent the picture off to someone more knowledgable than we are -- two someones, actually -- and they both said, yep, that's a cave swallow.

Unexpected, yes. But then again, it does have wings...
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3 comments:

Rurality said...

Too bad he didn't live, but wow, Cave Swallow, cool.

Makes you wonder how many "out of place" things are out there that we just never notice.

Cowboy the Cat said...

There's no chance it's a cliff swallow? I know they have a different head, but I can't tell from the pic.

BTW, this is the first time I have commented here, but I check out your cool pictures regularly. Thanks!

swamp4me said...

rurality,
There are probably all sorts of critters out there - we never would have noticed this one if it hadn't hit the window.

cowboy the cat,
Glad to hear you visit often! No, it isn't a cliff swallow. That's what we thought at first, too. I have several other pictures that I took from all different angles and forwarded on to a couple of ornithologists that I know. Both said that it was definitely a cave swallow.