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Can a single parent barn swallow raise babies?

15 years ago

Does anyone know? Each year we've had barn swallow babies fledged from a nest in the eaves of our front porch, but this year's couple have been extraordinarily aggressive about nest defense and one of the parent birds fell victim to our cat while dive bombing her.

That was about a week ago and the remaining parent bird has been feeding the babies diligently since. I've been making an effort to keep kitty in as much as possible.

Anyways the nest holds 5 baby birdies, and they do seem to be growing, but I don't know if their growth rate is normal. They do not appear weak at all. I am just wondering can one single parent bird manage to feed this brood enough to ensure they make it to adulthood. Does anyone know if this is possible. They must only be getting half the food they would get if both parents were feeding them. Might they just take longer to grow to fledging size with less food, but still reach maturity? I'm so hoping that the little ones survive to fly with the flock as their predecessors have in past years.

Here's a photo of a brood from two years ago. Hope this goes through...

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