15-21 April 2000

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  • This mud nest (right) was built in Spring 1989 on the front porch of the residence at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History. It was constructed by the only pair of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) ever to nest on the property. Protected from the elements, the adobe home has lasted for more than a decade and in ensuing years has been used as a nesting platform by Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe) and Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus). In late March 2000, a fourth species--the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)--claimed squatter's rights, and a pair is raising two young. By mid-April, both chicks were visible as tufts of down (lower photograph), and were demonstrating typical House Finch nestling habit of depositing an ever-thickening layer of droppings around the rim of their temporary home. Nest sanitation obviously is NOT a well-developed behavior among House Finches!

Photos © Hilton Pond Center

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Indigo Bunting
(male, right)
Northern Cardinal
Rufous-sided Towhee
White-throated Sparrow

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including all articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.