Skimmer is our next Burgess Bird in detail and he is a beautiful iridescent bird with blueish-green on his back and white on his stomach. We know exactly where to venture in order to see Tree Swallows. We go to the Deer Grove Preserve in our community where there are some open swampy areas. We don’t even have to walk down to the water in order to see the tree swallows darting through the sky to catch their insect feasts. The dead trees there stand so high that we can see them from the footpath. It’s the perfect spot to see one of their key behaviors: aerial foraging. It’s also a wonderful place for them to nest in the cavities of the trees. Food + Housing = Perfect Tree Swallow Habitat
Thornton W. Burgess describes Peter’s adoration of Skimmer,
”Johnny and Skimmer were the best of friends. Johnny used to delight in watching Skimmer dart out from beneath the branches of the trees and wheel and turn and glide, now sometimes high in the blue, blue sky, and again just skimming the tops of the grass, on wings which seemed never to tire. But he liked still better the bits of gossip when Skimmer would sit in his doorway and chat about his neighbors of the Old Orchard and his adventures out in the Great World during his long journeys to and from the far-away South.”The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Thornton W. Burgess, Living Press edition, p. 72
If you have seen Tree Swallows in the field, you would understand why Burgess named this bird “Skimmer.” Peter’s description of his flying is spot on.
Stay cool this summer and more importantly, keep birding! <3 Kate
Find the full collection of The Burgess Coloring & Writing Pages here, complete with a list of the birds’ names and speicies!