Recently I found a decent-sized group of Cliff Swallows nesting under the side of a bridge. I sat and watched them for awhile as they swooped out as a group to snatch bugs out of the air and bring them back to their chicks. I read that both parents feed the young, which could explain why so many of them clustered around the nests, but in some cases one of them would try to fly to one nest, get turned away by some of the others there, and then fly out to a different nest and stop there.
They were fun to watch; swallows are very aerobatic, taking sudden turns and diving through the air. I tried taking some pictures, but the whole scene was better captured on video. Plus, I got to try out slow motion, although that camera can only record a few seconds of slow motion video.
When I took the pictures of the chipmunk, there were flocks of these birds at our bird feeder, pecking at the ground around it, alongside Grackles. This doesn’t quite look like a Grackle to me, but I am not sure what it is otherwise. A group of them had landed on the other side of our street, where there was a puddle, and were drinking from it. I got this shot with the zoom lens and cropped it down.
Edit: This bird is actually a female Grackle; it has different colors and patterns than the male Grackle does.
This Great Blue Heron was slightly tamer than some others we had spotted, but that flew off as soon as we stopped. Got a great look at him/her with the camera. There are some other neat videos people have taken of Great Blue Herons hunting on YouTube that I came across too, if you are interested.
Some footage my mother took showing Sandhill Cranes in greater detail than the flight video I posted before. The Cranes seem more wary than the Heron was. Generally, they weren’t both pecking at the ground at the same time, and when they did, it wasn’t for long. You can see that there is oftentimes one scanning the surroundings, and they periodically pause to raise their heads up and look around.