Hirundo rustica
(Barn swallow)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Hirundinidae
Family Description: Swallows

Physical Description:
5 3/4-7 3/4" (15-20 cm). Bluish-black above, rufousClick word for definition below; long, deeply forked tail.

Similar Species- Cliff Swallow

Song:
A series of soft, twittering notes.

Distribution:
Breeds from portions of Alaska, east across much of Canada, and south through much of U.S. to central Mexico. Winters from Costa Rica through South America.

Habitat:
Found in open situations, less frequently in partly-open habitats, frequently near water and agricultural areas.

Diet:
Eats insects (e.g., grasshoppers, dragonflies, leafhoppers, beetles, etc.). Rarely eats berries.

Ecology:
Constructs cup-shaped nest on building, bridge, culvert, or cliff. May nest in small colonies. When not breeding, may form flocksClick word for definition of up to thousands. Flies over open land and water and forages for prey; may occasionally take prey from ground or vegetation. When breeding, usually forages within few hundred meters of nest.

Reproduction
clutchClick word for definition size varies from 4-5 eggs. Incubation lasts 13-17 days (less often 11-19 days), and is performed mainly by female. Young are tended by both adults, fledgeClick word for definition at 18-23 days, and stay together and are fed by parents for about 1 wk. Females first breed at 1 yr (a few males remain unpaired until 2 yr). Adults often have same mate in successive years. Females often have 2 broodsClick word for definition, except in far northern range. Juveniles may help feed young of second brood. Breeding birds tend to return to same colony and sometimes same nest.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPAU09030
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.