Airborne

Reproductives are a-wing. This is a Yellow-footed Ant queen.
Well, she’ll be a queen if she mates. Flycatchers like this Eastern Kingbird, one of two in launching out from this London Plane tree, are on the lookout to make sure she doesn’t reproduce.
On Saturday, the termite reproductives were starting to emerge, streaming up into the sky on their weak wings. The reception committee was intense, about as many Chimney Swifts as I’ve ever seen over Brooklyn. (There’s at least one Barn Swallow in here as well.)
As I get older, I measure time by the arrival and departure of the swifts. We hear their chittering overhead all summer, from early in the morning to just past sunset. Two or three have just raced by. It’s hard to count them. They appear as if spontaneously in the air.

5 Responses to “Airborne”


  1. 2 nature969 May 20, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/3pb3q6u8FkxitL8Z9

    I am hoping to share photos of a small bee feeding on the flower of a blue-eyed grass plant on my front yard, in Vienna, Virginia. My technical skills need work! 🙂

    • 3 mthew May 20, 2022 at 4:10 pm

      Tiny flower& tiny bee are a real challenge to photograph.

    • 4 Chuck McAlexander May 20, 2022 at 4:25 pm

      At least the plant won’t be doing 45 mph and making impossibly sharp turns. The effect of the swifts and swallows is phantasmagorical. One minute you are looking at a fast moving dot. The next the dot has become an airborne missle the size of a WWII fighter and it’s heading right at you. Unnerving to say the least.

  2. 5 Chuck McAlexander May 20, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    The Barn Swallow is fourth from the top of the photo! That’s so much easier in a picture. Things stay still long enough to study. It’ like cheating.


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