20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Tree Swallow & Feather

I was photographing tree swallows going in and out of their wooden tree houses that had lined a country road. I noticed that they were using feathers to line their nests in the bird houses. They seemed to show off their prized feathers to the other tree swallows. The bird with the feather would release the feather from its beak and as it floated toward the ground, another tree swallow would capture it and he would then bring it to his birdhouse! They were playing a game of tag with the feathers. They got their feathers from a farm on the property.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Warwick, New York, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D500
Copyright: © Lisa Beckmann
Photo of the Day: 03.29.23