Barn Swallows

If the Red-wing Blackbirds are a sign of early spring, the arrival of the Barn Swallows indicates that Mother Nature is finally confident the season will persist.

These birds are truly amazing - arial gymnasts that pluck insects out of the sky in mid-flight. They are a country phenomenon, needing open space to fly and structures in which to nest. This time of year you may encounter them when driving down a country road; or, if you live out here, mowing the grass will bring them out in droves, which is why you see them flying about in this video:

(Because they are relatively small and move so much, they can be difficult to pick up on a mobile phone camera)

I, personally, embrace any critters that decrease the resident population of insects and vermin, though opinions vary within the Homestead household (LB will not now, nor has she ever seen fit to suffer a spider to live). More than most animals that provide this contribution, though, these birds put on a show that is delightful to see throughout the spring and summer.