01 Aug Bayberry & Tree Swallows
Yesterday evening, spurred by Doug Chickering’s post on Tree Swallows on Plum Island,
I spent the evening on Plum watching the swallows gather to roost. There will be swarms of thousands of Tree Swallows along New Hampshire‘s seacoastand on Plum Island. They’ll be swallowing high-lipid bayberries, [once ripe] to build theirfat stores for migration. Northern Bayberries contain carbohydrates and fat. The fat content of bayberries is nearly 50%; Arrowwood Viburnum fruit contains 41% fat, and Virginia Creeper fruit has 23% fat. These staging migrants will also consume lower energy fruits such as Pokeweed and Chokeberry. Bayberries are a small, spherical fruit with a waxy covering and are used for making fragrant candles. I know of a tradition that involved Bayberry Candles ~ burn one bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and another one on New Year’s Eve, and that will bring luck and prosperity for the year ahead.
Link to the article’s abstract: