Aren’t theses Barn Swallow nestlings just precious? These are very young nestlings and they are lined up at the edge of their mud and straw (and grasses, etc) nest awaiting one of their parents to come to feed them.
This is a close up view of their nests showing the many feathers they line their nests with to provide a very soft surface for those baby birds. Isn’t it amazing that these small birds can weave these mud and straw nests together then sometimes travel a distance to find suitable feathers to finish their work?
The photo above is a close-up of a young Barn Swallow nestlings. See how nature makes it’s beak stand out so parent birds know where to put the food. This is also a very good field mark for identifying young birds.
This is a Barn Swallow that recently ‘fledged’ or left the nest for the first time. Fledgling birds look more like the adults though notice it’s tail is short (short for a Barn Swallow as they have long tails). Birds that look like adult birds but have shorter tails are generally fledglings.
Like almost all native bird species in the U.S., they are protected under the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They can create a mess with their droppings on porches and other problematic places for bird nesting. If they are trying to nest in one of these problematic places be sure to knock down the bits of nest as they they put them up. Don’t wait until the nest is built and there are eggs or babies in it as it is not only illegal to knock those nests down which would destroy eggs and kill babies but very sad.