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Pacific Swallow feeding fledgling

on 2nd December 2006

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The nest of the Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) is a half-cup of mud lined with plant materials. This is stuck to the surface of tree stumps, culverts, bridges, verandahs, walls of buildings, etc. These nests are generally reused after repairs. The female incubates the eggs while both parents assist in the feeding of the chicks. The fledgling period is around 20 days with the fledglings returning to the nest at night for the initial few days.

The bird feeds on the wing, foraging for a wide variety of aerial insects in broad swooping flight. Its large mouth and small beak adapt it well to this. It feeds mostly in the late morning and at dusk.

Once the chicks fledge, the parents tend to get them to move away from the nest site where the parents continue to feed them. The fledglings are fed mainly insects. They stay on stable ground while the parent hovers around transferring food into their gaping beak while on the wing.

Images by Chan Yoke Meng.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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