Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
What they look like: The barn swallow is about six inches long, and has blue wings and head. It has a orange throat and forehead and orange chest and underside. It has a deeply forked tail like the letter V. Males and females look alike. (Photo courtesy of naturespicsonline.com)
Where they live: In all parts of North America. The barn swallow winters in the tropics south to Argentina. The barn swallow also breeds in northern Europe, northeastern Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa. The barn swallow can be found in farmlands, suburbs, marshes and lakeshores.
What they eat: The barn swallow only eats bugs
Nesting: Barn swallows often mate in the air. Both parents build the nest. Nests are made of mud and lined with grass and feathers. The cup-shaped nest is built under a rock ledge or in the rafters or eaves of buildings. The female has 4 to 6 eggs. Both parents care for the young. The eggs take around two weeks to hatch and the chicks will fly when they are about three weeks old. The female may produce 2 groups of chicks in one summer.
Behavior: They travel by day, eating as they fly. They can even feed their young while they are in flight! They can travel as many as 600 miles a day. That means they could travel from Seattle to Spokane in one day. Swallows travel in large groups.
photo courtesy of natures pics
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