Hirundo rustica - Barn Swallow

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Hirundinidae

Barn Swallow

This late-spring visitor is eagerly awaited each season and is usually with us here in Britain from April through to October. The blue sheen on the back and wings is a feature that clearly distinguishes Barn Swallows from their relatives the martins.

Barn Swallows - generally referred to simply as Swallows - feed on insects. They love open spaces, but you will also see them swooping low over rivers or ponds when there are plenty of insects hatching or laying eggs there.

A Swallow's nest is made of grass, mud and feathers, usually on beams in barns or other old buildings visited infrequently by people.

The long, pointed eggs are white with brown spots, and four to six is a normal clutch. The young Swallows hatch between May and August.

Nest and young with adult Swallow approaching

Acknowledgements

Pictures shown on this page were kindly contributed by David Adamson and Melvin Grey.


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