Another element to the white feather game. Swallows (especially tree
swallows, but perhaps barns too) habitually decorate their nests with white
   Bob Paxton

On Sat, Jun 5, 2021 at 10:04 PM Joseph Wallace <> wrote:

> This is more about bird behavior than rarity, so apologies if it's o/t,
> but I watched a swallow engage in extraordinary (to me) behavior at Croton
> Point Park in Westchester today. It started when I spotted something white
> drifting slowly towards the ground: a large, downy feather. Just as I
> focused on it, a Barn Swallow snatched it out of the air with its beak. I
> expected the bird to head off to its nest, but instead it dropped the
> feather...and then circled and snatched it out of the air again.
> For the next few minutes, I watched the swallow repeatedly release the
> feather, do wide loops around it--sometimes feinting in its direction--and
> then pluck it out of the air. Twice it let the feather land on the grass,
> retrieving it once while on the wing and once by landing beside it. Finally
> the swallow did head off, I imagine to line its nest at last.
> I'd never seen swallows engage in play, but I can't see how this was
> anything else. Has anyone else here ever witnessed something like this?
> Thanks--Joe Wallace
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