Termite Terminators

With temperatures on the rise in this morning’s bright sunshine, a flight of Eastern Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) streamed from the shelter of this tree snag to ascend skyward in a spreading cloud of kings and queens looking to start new colonies of wood chompers.

Eastern Subterranean Termites swarming.
A nuptial flight of Eastern Subterranean Termites taking to the wing after ascending a dead tree alongside a small pond.

As the swarm cleared the treetops, it immediately attracted the attention of some recently-arrived migratory birds…

Barn Swallows and Chimney Swifts Attack an Ant Swarm
Barn Swallows and Chimney Swifts seized the opportunity to devour an easy meal…hundreds of flying termites.  Their timing was perfect.  The first Barn swallows of the season arrived here just two days ago, the first appearance of the swifts was concurrent with this morning’s swarm.
Barn Swallow and Chimney Swifts
Our squadron of predators quickly devoured the airborne insects.  The entire event was concluded in just five minutes.