Barn Swallow — Hirundo rustica

Occurs in any open habitat, especially large fields and wetlands. Often seen foraging in flocks, sometimes mixed with other species of swallow. Typically nests close to human habitation; builds a muddy cup nest in a barn or under a dock. Listen Barn Swallow, for dry, scratchy “svit svit” calls.

Photo: Look how gorgeous Barn Swallow — Hirundo rustica

Description Barn Swallow — Hirundo rustica

1800The Hirundo rustica, commonly known as the barn swallow, is a small bird in the passerine family Hirundinidae. This species is known for its distinctive deep forked tail and long pointed wings, making it easily recognizable in flight. The barn swallow has a bold plumage, with a deep blue-black upper parts and a rufous forehead, chin, throat, and underparts. Its underparts are also marked with some darker and lighter red-brown speckles, particularly on the breast.

Barn swallows are found across the Northern Hemisphere and are widespread throughout much of the world. They are found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, with their range extending from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America. These birds are highly migratory, with populations in the Northern Hemisphere migrating south to Asia, Africa, and the Americas during the autumn and returning north for the breeding season in the spring.

In Europe, the barn swallow is a common and familiar sight, often nesting in barns, outbuildings, and other human-made structures. They are also found in a variety of open habitats, including farmland, meadows, and marshes. In Asia, they can be found in similar habitats, while in the Americas, they are often found in open country, including fields, wetlands, and coastal areas.

The barn swallow is known for its agile and acrobatic flight, often catching insects on the wing with its wide gape. They are also highly social birds, often nesting in loose colonies and gathering in large flocks during migration. Their diet primarily consists of flying insects, which they catch in flight, making them beneficial to farmers as natural pest controllers.

Overall, the barn swallow is a widespread and adaptable species, known for its distinctive appearance and impressive aerial abilities. Its close association with human habitation and agricultural landscapes has led to its status as a familiar and iconic species across much of its range.

Listen to them sing Barn Swallow — Hirundo rustica

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