Violet-green Swallows Looking for Fires

Our family spent a few days in Central Oregon for July 4th.  We climbed Lava Butte which formed in an explosive eruption 7000 years ago.  At the top is a fire lookout where a National Forest Ranger lives searching the area for forest fires.  A family of Violet-green swallows decided to call it home.

Here is one of the adults taking a break from flying around eating insects.  Swallows are easy to spot by the way they fly around.  The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America calls it “graceful swooping flight”.

Here is one of the juveniles.  How is it different than the adult?  Juveniles still have a grayish coat and do not yet have white cheeks.

The swallows were curious about this seed puffball that was floating around over the cinder cone.  They kept flying around it and grabbing it, and then letting it go.  This one decided to hang on to it for a while.

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