Chimney Swifts, continued

The chicks seemed bigger this morning. They grow and feather very quickly. The smallest, least developed one is plumper though still mostly bald. It is on the right in this image. Bob used the peep hole again. We took turns at the small observation window.

As well as stills, we did a few minutes of video of the churning mass of chicks. Just as Linda was getting ready to change the camera settings from the video settings we use back to still image settings. one of the adults flew in and wrapped its wings around the chicks. Trying not to breath and unable to change the settings or move the camera, she pressed the shutter cable release twice.

The right wing has a bit of motion blur but the chicks and the left wing are in sharp focus. The chicks stood up to be enclosed by the parent’s wings. Its tail covered the back of the chick nearest the window. It was over in a moment and the adult went up the chimney and the chicks returned to their pile. It was like a reassuring hug. The chicks did not beg as they usually do when an adult comes in. They accepted the hug and seemed content.

We were in the tower for awhile before Bob Anderson (of Decorah eagles fame) arrived to adjust the web cam. It was hoped that it would go live on the internet today. We have not heard whether it has. After the camera was adjusted and people were dealing with the computer connections, we went back up for about 20 minutes.

The 100mm macro lens was the best of the three we used. It is the fastest of the three and easiest to focus in LiveView. The tight conditions and the tendency of the short zooms to slide slightly because of the camera angles made focusing them more difficult.

We also brought our “pan pod” to use on the shelf/seat by the observation window today. The “pan pod” is a retired Revere frying pan with handle removed and a central bolt through the middle of the bottom on which a sturdy tripod ball head is attached.  It is good for ground level photography. In this case, using a 3 inch tall plastic box under it brought it to a useful height on the shelf. It makes a very stable small support.

We won’t be able to return for several days. We are eager to see more of their feathers and new behaviors.

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