Re: Mesatchee Creek
- Hi Rich,
I rather doubt White-throated and Vaux's Swifts feed their young but once a day, as these two species seem to forage in proximity (relatively speaking, it can be up to 10 miles away I imagine) to their nest site. But once a day feedings is pretty well documented for the Black Swift. I think the nestling Blacks even can go into torpor during the day to reduce their energy requirements. That might be a good reason for the long fledging period for this species. It allows this species to literally fly back and forth across the Cascades daily plus fly all day long capturing insects. A concentration of Black Swifts isin the Newhalem area along SR-20 (west of the Cascade crest). On days with inclement weather, these birds probably fly east down the Methow Valley as far as the Columbia River, sometimes even to Grand Coulee!
Yes, they do regurgitate. Take a look at Sibley p. 291.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 8:44 PM
Subject: Mesatchee Creek
Enjoyed your post as always. It's refreshing to know that rare Yakima County birds such as Black Swift and Three-toed Woodpecker are really out there and that those who are willing to expend effort may find them on occasion.
The narrow window in which the adults return to their nests intrigues me. I checked a reference and found that their clutch size is exactly one egg and that nestlings remain in the nest for 45 to 49 days...which struck me as a rather long time for a bird of that "small" size. I think you may have mentioned once that gulls seen "resting" on Buchanan Lake do not spend the night here but return to Priest Rapids Lake to feed nestlings. While I can envision gulls regurgitating for their nestlings, swift strikes me as too "refined" for that type of feeding strategy. Being a flatlander with experience only with adults that seem to spend all the daylight hours constantly returning to the nest to feed nestlings it is hard for me to grasp that some species would only return to the nest for one evening feeding for the young. But is this is what is happening with these species? Swifts are regurgitators also?
I replied off line to lessen the "pressure" for you to respond. I think others would be interested though if you feel the question is worthy of expounding on.
Hope the lip heals quickly!
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