I think they were Barn Swallows but they were flying so high before sunrise that I couldn’t ID the species for sure. Could have been Chimney Swifts.
I wondered what they were doing as they soared and turned so rapidly. Were they feeding? Do insects fly ten stories up in the air? Or, were they just feeling perky this morning and airing out their wings?
I’m sitting here on a bench in the middle of an urban area and watching bird behavior. It’s amazing that many species of birds –including the swallows– are not only surviving but thriving within the concrete jungle we call home.
I read yesterday in the Chicago Tribune (August 24, 2013) that an entire colony of Night Herons have set up a rookery on a small island on a pond in Lincoln Park, our downtown oasis of green. Night Herons are on the Illinois endangered species list which makes this even more remarkable.
In the ’60s it was feared that there would be little wildlife left in and around the big cities. Our life style requires cutting down trees, eliminating bushes, spraying with pesticides and paving just about everything in sight.
The deer don’t care; they live in Chicago’s forest preserves and parks. The coyotes go about their predation right in our front yards (Beware, poochies!) Beaver in the Chicago River climb up on shore and cut down the succulent tree plantings of the Park District..
And, birds nest and produce new generations when we aren’t looking. Suddenly the birds are there, swooping and making fantastic turns in the morning sky.