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Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Species Code: HIRU

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Barn swallow

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery,
Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

This swallow is common to abundant at lower and moderate elevations, almost always near man-made structures, usually wooden). It is most common in residential and agricultural areas, though found locally at higher montane sites with suitable structures (such as ski resorts). It needs open habitat for foraging.

Good habitat in core zones included all habitats except west-side mid-seral and late-seral conifer forests below the Silver Fir zone (west side) and below the Sub-alpine Fir zone (east side).

For nesting, Barn Swallows prefer man-made structures in barns, garages, sheds, etc. The nest is a cup of dried mud and vegetation, usually built on a horizontal structure, such as a wooden beam. However, these swallows are quite adaptable when it comes to nesting, and have been seen constructing nests in some seemingly unlikely places, e.g., on porch lights and atop a glass fishing float hung outside a house.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Map by Dave Lester