Hello folks who wonder if every homeless person had Venmo accounts then they could get around the usual Sorry I don't have any change excuse every time they panhandle,

There are two kinds of flying birds: Those who treat flying like a chore and do it to simply pay its bills, think your towhees, finches, pigeons etc. And then, there are Swallows for whom flying almost seems like a passion.

Swallows are songbirds which perform numerous maneuvers in flight that can even put the US Navy Blue Angels performance to shame.
These birds are always in a hurry, hence they will hunt and eat their food in flight, scratch that, they will swallow it. Get it? These birds remind me of the people who never get out of their car, order their 64-ounce soda cup from a drive-thru, drive around, feel thirsty, repeat.

This is what they might look like the first time you spot them.


To appreciate their flight, we need to slow down time to understand what is going on.
In the case below, it will flap its wings for some time, suddenly pivot and then glide.
If you were to bet your money on the path they will take every time they fly, you have a higher chance of getting your money back by investing with Mr. Bernie Madoff.


​Here is another Swallow turning on a dime, doing a 180° turn without breaking a sweat.


Swallows like the Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows make their nests using mud pellets which they gather one at a time using their beaks to and from the location where they will build them. When it dries up it will provide a robust structure as most buildings built with concrete. And humans bitch about assembling Ikea furniture with the supplied instructions.

Below is a Barn Swallow gathering some mud for its nest.


And this is how their nests look like, since it is so much effort they will try to reuse nests during the next season if they can.
Below are the nests of Cliff Swallows at Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. Cliff Swallows unlike the Barn Swallows prefer neighbors so they will build nests close to one another. Also it helps when one of their neighbors starts posting on Nextdoor about a suspicious person every time the USPS person is delivering mail.


The only time to observe the colors and features of a swallow is when they are not in flight, hence its best to catch them when they are taking a break in between meals.
Below is one of the Violet-Green Swallow looking around.


And below is a Barn Swallow with its distinct forked tail. This is me when I have to scratch an itch in public.


And the characteristic white forehead on the Cliff Swallow. This one is checking if its Amazon package is delivered already.
That's the 20th time it checked not to mention the 40 times it checked on the UPS tracking website.


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