Swallows nest

A Pair of swallows began  building a nest in our garden shed around 3-4 weeks ago. The nest appeared complete about 2 weeks ago. Whilst building the nest I regularly saw them flying in and out of the shed and whilst I do still see them fly into the shed occasionally they seem to have reduced their visits. They spend most of the day out rather than actually in the shed. Today I popped a camera over the nest and took a photo to see what was inside and I got a beautiful picture of 5 lovely eggs. the nest was empty when I took a similar photo about 2 weeks ago.

I'm worried though that they don't seem to be sitting on the eggs at all. The weather is quite hot though.

Do you think the nest has been abandoned? Do you think the eggs could still hatch?

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,392

    Some birds don't begin to sit on their eggs until the last one has been laid. Our little blue tit laid one each morning for twelve mornings and then settled down to "cook" them.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,124

    Exactly - otherwise they'd all hatch out on different days. 

    Owls and raptors start brooding the eggs right from the beginning, and the eggs hatch in sequence - this way if food is scarce the youngest ones don't get any and the older ones do and at least some survive (even if they have to eat their younger siblings - as seen on Springwatch).

    However, most other birds (and chickens, ducks, geese etc) lay a whole clutch of eggs and then start brooding - the eggs all hatch within a 24 hour period and the little ones are all at the same stage together. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Thank you, that makes sense. I popped into the shed to fetch some things this morning and an adult flew out so they are obviously still in attendance. It's such a beautiful thing to witness, would love it if they managed to raise some young. I'll keep you all updated.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,124

    image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,549

    Accidently left the garage door open one year (garage? - car's never been in it, animal feed store!) and the swallows went in and nested. Now it has to be left open every summer as they return each year. I know they have raised at least three chicks this year, as they were trying out their wings when I went in one day. I sit and watch them in the afternoon as they fly over the pond, dipping in for a drink. The babies are slower and more cautious than the parents, but not for long, their flying skills are stupendous. Twice this summer, when I've been sitting at the keyboard with door open, a swallow has flown in, circled the room and flown out again - lovely!

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,392

    That's beautiful Buttercup.image I wish they would nest round here but sadly they just fly by.

    There's a little church near here where the swallows have built a nest in the porch. As the main door is on the outside of the porch, and the body of the church only has glass doors, the building is open 24 hours a day at the moment. Not sure how the congregation feel about being strafed. They probably say a little prayer as they dodge the droppings.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,124

    That used to happen at our local church some 35+ years ago - the vicar was a bit of a curmudgeon and kept a long stick in the porch with the intention of poking the nest down when they started building as the droppings made a mess on the old stone flagged floor - until the parishioners got to hear of it and 'vented their wrath' - I visited the church this week - the swallows are still nesting in the porch image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,549

    It is always a special day in the spring when the first swallows return,and I am always on the lookout for 'our' swallows to come and sit on the telephone wire. It makes me quite emotional when I think of the long and hazardous journey they have had to come and nest in our old garage!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,124

    And those little nestlings that hatch out of those tiny eggs will fly all the way back to southern Africa this autumn - isn't nature amazing?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Just to keep you updated the eggs have definitely hatched. I found 2 empty egg shells and 1 dead chick on the floor under the nest a few days ago (I presumed that chick must have died and been thrown out the by adults). Since then I have kept as far away from the shed as possible but now regularly see both adults flying in and out so they are definitely feeding something image

    So happy they have managed to make it this far and hope they manage to fledge at least 1 chick - i'll keep you all updated.

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