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Three chicks and the parents. That made five Red-rumped Swallows in all. Yup, I am pretty good at the two-plus-three kind of Math. After a five hour train journey, instead of taking that much needed rest, I had spent the post-lunch hours watching the five of them. The back ache could wait, birds held precedence.

The three chicks put the boy who stood on the burning deck to shame when it came to staying put at their place on the cable. They waited patiently, not moving an inch, for the parents to return with food, which they did every now and then. When they did, the chick whose turn it was would open its beaks wide and the parent would proceed to shove the food down its throat before flying off for another run.

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The five member Swallow family

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The three obedient children

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Mom (or Dad) flying off after Feeding (1)

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Mom (or Dad) flying off after Feeding (2)

It was frustrating trying to catch them at just the right moment. While I’d be concentrating on Kid One, the Mommy (or Daddy) would go feed Kid Two or Kid Three. How unfair! However much I tried I couldn’t beat the ‘system’ they followed. So many opportunities were thus lost.

Sheesh, I am getting old for this. All I ended up with were pictures of Mommy Bird and/or Daddy Bird flying off after feeding, not the feeding itself.  Hrrrmph. Oh well, may be next time!

©Shail Mohan 2017

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