It is hard work to raise a brood of chicks from hatch to fledging. The Tree Swallows at the PVC box near the pond are incredibly dedicated to the task, as shown in this series of photos I took yesterday (6/11/22.) The parents were returning to the box around every few minutes.
To provide some perspective, imagine running as fast as you can all the while searching for a small, flying animal that you need to grab with one hand as your keep running around looking for more little animals! Then, consider once you grab that one snack for your kids, you have to keep running and grabbing with that same hand while not dropping the first “snack” in that one hand you get to use to nab your kid’s food. Now contemplate doing that four or five times before running back to your house to deliver the little meal and racing off again. Imagine that, clearly, you are not going to be successful at grabbing the target with 100% success rate – so if you need to take four snacks per visit, you may need to work twice as hard as what it takes to succeed catching those four goodies. Consider doing that over and over and over again all day long! Every time you get back home with your catch, the kids are hollering “Feed me!” and you need to make sure all of them get fed equally, even if one of them is sort of a bully and is always first in line at the door!
I suppose with a face like that, it’s hard not to work your hardest!