Pincushions

Yesterday (Saturday), the 12 day old chicks at the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower have filled in with feather sheaths and look like pincushions. More small sheaths are protruding from their skins all over their bodies.

It is understandable why these immature feathers are called pin feathers. The sheaths still protect the developing feathers. They now look like bird-shaped pincushions with an abundance of silver-gray pins.

The nest is small and the chicks did not change positions while we were there. When younger and smaller they did so frequently. They did make the buzzing call several times and only threw back their heads when doing so.

We did make several short recordings of their buzzing which we hope to add to the video we recorded at the previous visit. Because one of us may be recording video while the other is making photographs we have the audio turned off on our cameras. Shutter clicking during a video sequence is a distraction if the cameras are near one another. Ours are on adjacent sides of the two foot square false chimney. We then record the sound while neither of us is photographing.

An adult came in twice to check on the chicks and us. We think this adult is one of the pair from last year because it has the same light colored epaulettes (coverts) on its wings. Bob was able to make one documentary image of it on the west wall without using a light. The pattern looks the same to us as the one that let us photograph it last year.

Perhaps their eyes will be starting to open when next we visit.

Comments are closed.