Many birds forage in the air, in flight. Falcons, for example. Here, Peregrine Falcons catch birds exclusively (or almost exclusively?) On the fly, while accelerating to speeds in excess of 300 km / h Hobby too, so hunt small birds and insects. And not only the Falcons (or Falcon?). Even some Gulls may very well catch dragonflies in the air. Deftly do eater (which, as most people think Babbitt, catch bees, sitting in the hive hive). Flycatchers catch flying insects on the perch and catch them in the air (much like the Hawks!). Often we witness the air hunting White Wagtails. Finches and sparrows - and they sometimes do so.
However, there are at least two smaller groups of birds that foraging exclusively in flight. This - Swifts and Swallows.
Swifts - Swifts of detachment (or long-winged, with Hummingbird. Where Swifts, and where - Hummingbirds!). Swallows And all the same - from the squad Vorobeobraznyh (steep ornithologists write: "Perching", though it is wrong).
It should be understood as follows: Swifts and swallows - no kin (no more relatives than we ferrets). And the townsfolk (and we have all - in varying degrees - Babbitt!) Coincidence always confused with swallows swifts: they look like!
You saw how hunted both? Question - invalid: it is impossible to see! And, at the same time watching these magnificent animals, we only hunt, almost always, and see. Paradox! The fact that they hunt almost continuously, when we look at the sky (and who, apart from us, there looks?). We just do not see the details: their food is very shallow. Some biologists call this food aeroplancton. Not microbes, of course - flies, mosquitoes and other insects are not very big.
And who are they - Swallows and swifts, hunts?
At Swifts - nobody. Although, if you devote to this life, know who. But there is no such information. Of course! Who will catch Strizh if its horizontal flight speed - up to 180 km / h? Young, just escaped from the birdhouse, under the eaves of a niche in the rock, etc. - perhaps someone can ... But they'll very quickly and deftly fly. Besides, Swifts never sit on the earth, and even - on wires and branches ...
But, on the Swallows - many who can! And for adults (they're bad compared to swifts fly!). For example, on the branches of trees and bushes, where Swallows (Vorobeobraznye!) is even sit down. However, catch them hawks, shrikes, Hobby - very difficult Swallows - great flyers ... But the young - all fly so-so. They - affordable food for many.
And, as many (if not all) Vorobeobraznye, Swallows (including Village and) very menacing protect offspring. And, since they nest, often, colonies tight group, and they protect the general nesting area or place where the chicks sit taken off, all together, in unison.
So there are many Vorobeobraznye. I often watched Fieldfare (the fiercest defenders of colonial nesting colonies) and also - White Wagtails, dense squadron attacking and chasing Raven and present of prey - hawks, hobby and even Pusteleg.
Although more (or more) part of fledglings predators, after all, eat, the number of species is not appreciably reduced. Birds dying all the time ... And, basically - chicks in nests and fledglings. Although eggs and eat all and sundry: and Martens and Mice Squirrels and Jays and Magpies and crows and ravens ... By the way, and chicks - too. Oh, what bjaki! But these too byak all the time someone eats. And all - live! There is something to think about?
And now - the last concrete. Watched at least 40 years ago. Flew over the garden plots calm kestrel (hunter Voles, growth with Dove). Suddenly her attacked by a group of our children - barn swallows. Flew with loud cries and tried to bite in the air. And one brave Swallow flew below and hit in the stomach ... Kestrel only slightly clenched fingers and without changing any direction or speed ... flew on already Swallow.
It seems to be all right. Even great! Come profiles, the results are displayed on the map: here it is - NEW KNOWLEDGE mined jointly ...
When we started the project, we thought: The Case of easy, simple, fun! Go thousands of profiles, curator die from overwork ... And it's only 34. Why?
I think there is something you feared. Shy? What if we do not like your photos? What if you're wrong, wrong bird removed or not the nest?
But the 25 participants dared to send us senseless profiles with strangers photo stolen from the internet.
We certainly need to learn from them! In the determination!
We do not be ashamed, do not criticize. Over anyone not laugh and take photos of any quality, if only it was clear that they depict.
But there is a secret.
Officially, the most important thing we all learn from the questionnaires. And in fact, the most interesting - correspondence (Discussion). It is in the discussion, we share with each other the details of the observations without any formalities and restrictions. Here we can find out where, when and with whom they talk to swallow, as they prey who hunt them and how they escape from predators. Can find out what else is in your region swallows settle whether different types together, when they appear, and when the fly. What is the role of each parent in building nests, hatching, feeding chicks. Encroach there any birds and animals for eggs and chicks, while they are still in the nest. Do protect our swallows their nests and how. When and how the fly chicks.
All this and much more (which is not provided for the questionnaire) you and I can learn it in the discussion.
Well, it? Reassured? ceased to be afraid of? Write more! The main thing - to get involved!
Nine participants of our project (of 34!) Sent a good, reliable surveys about barn swallows nest. All nine posts confirm our working hypothesis that the Swallow - synanthropic species, breeding only in human buildings. Moreover, in eight questionnaires - reports Swallows nesting inside the wooden buildings. Only one - an exotic place built nests: in the chapel over the spring recess (and, construction - stone).
However, among the millions of profiles, which you have not yet sent us, certainly (I'm absolutely sure!) Will be information about the nesting barn swallows on surfaces unrelated to human activity.
More recently, just 12 days ago, members of Aksu Zhabagly (Talas Alatau, Southern Kazakhstan) showed me the rock face of the canyon of the Aksu River, which nest Rocky, Urban and swallow. We have found only last year's Rocky swallows nests. But themselves barn swallows we saw there!
All are afraid of us. Hide or keep a safe distance. But among these cowards (all - and birds and animals, and insects, and spiders - of insects and spiders full such that we fully see and understand that this - that we are!) There are those who live with us side by side and then - and right at home. And this is - not only red (and surviving somewhere endangered beautiful black) cockroaches. This - and even animals (Imagine! Dire ravenous beast Small white-toothed shrew in central Russia and north in winter only lives in our homes! And nobody knows about it. There are, however, gray rat (originally from Southeast Asia). Everywhere live throughout the world. But South Asian Gray rat central Russia often live along rivers completely wild! However, it - again ... Of course, we we are not talking about stupid parasites or secret lodger for example, bed bugs Bookcase or Pscudoscorpions ... Have you seen False scorpions? They - beautiful, lovely, only a very small and almost certainly you have, This is to be proud of! And in South Asia in any self-respecting home, live a variety of organisms, and people who respect themselves never let them hurt. Geckos, various frogs, all kinds of cockroaches, spiders, praying mantises ... In India, close to the people and settle Cobra and Mongoose (as Kipling), but they are not fighting (like Kipling) each other, and Indians (even if they - the Muslims or Jews) do not fight ... And then take off to fight them, if they both eat mice and rats! And, of course, termites. And with them, no one even would never fight! Although all organic (or rather, vegetable) They eat instantly. Go try to understand! What all of them we need? It turns out that little! Food and shelter. Designated reproduction. In particular, for the birds - artificial nests. And next to us for a long time - gray crows (almost People!) two kinds of tits. Two species of sparrows. Several dozen other species (only for Moscow ...). In other countries, in a different climate - and different storks, and some predators and scavengers ... All we are, first of all, food. Scraps (and say that someone somewhere is malnourished ...) And here is the swallows? Here, for example, Swifts - different in different regions of the world - are willing to settle in cities, where it is full of suitable sites for nesting. I dare say that food for them city do not deliver. But swifts settle, still massively and wild places. If, in the course of our research, we find that swallow steel (steel or almost) fully synanthropic views and stopped (or longer) to settle in the natural (not disturbed by us) places that - QUESTION: What, besides suitable for nest structures attracts swallows in anthropogenic landscape?