Riparia riparia
(Bank swallow)


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

Physical Description:
4 3/4-5 1/2" (12-14 cm). Brown above and white below with a brown breast band. Notched tail.

Similar Species- Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow

Song:
A soft, dry, chattering rattle.

Distribution:
Breeds from portions of Alaska, east to Newfoundland, and south to southern California and eastern Virginia. Winters mainly from eastern Panama to Peru and northern Argentina, and casually in Central America.

Habitat:
Found in open and partly- open situations, frequently near flowing water.

Diet:
Feeds primarily on flying insects (e.g., beetles, mosquitoes, winged ants, flies, and moths).

Ecology:
Catches food in air over fields, wetlands, and water. If necessary, may forage up to several km from nesting area. Burrows in or uses soil for nest. Forms colonies of various sizes; largest colonies, which may reach several hundred pairs, often occur in artificial sites. When not breeding, may form flocks of hundreds or thousands. Inclement weather and resulting scarcity of food may be important factor in nestling mortalityClick word for definition in some years; erosion of nest sites and predators also sometimes destroy nests.

Reproduction:
Both sexes incubateClick word for definition 4- 8 eggs (usually 4-5), for 12-16 days. Young are altricialClick word for definition, are tended by both sexes, leave nest when 18-22 days old, and return to original burrow for few days after first flight. In some areas in southern range, females may produce 2 broodsClick word for definition.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPAU08010
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.