Rob Hardy posted yesterday about bank swallows that have excavated residences at a construction site just east of Target in Northfield, so we went to see them this evening.
In the photo above, if you look closely, you should be able to see three or four swallows flying low in front of the colony. The swallows flick in and out of their holes quickly, making it a matter of pure luck to catch one at the door.
This one, seen through the spotting scope, actually paused briefly, perhaps checking on babies within. Bank swallows get their Latin name, riparia riparia, from the riverbanks in which they frequently nest, but they can adapt to a range of erodable banks and cliffs, including sand and gravel quarries. They breed over most of the northern two-thirds of the United States as well as Europe and Asia.
It was a treat to see such an organized community spring up in such a temporary situation as a construction site. I hope they are not disturbed before their young are fully fledged.