Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

The Barn Swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. In Europe it is called simply “Swallow”.  Most scientists believe these birds evolved nesting primarily in caves, but very few populations continue to do so. Now nearly all nesting takes place on man-made structures.

World-wide there are six recognized subspecies of Barn Swallow. The American subspecies is Hirundo rustica erythrogaster. Our swallow winters from Central America and south to northern Chile and Argentina, but when spring approaches these birds fly north to breed from Mexico to Canada and southern Alaska. There are no states in the USA where Barn Swallows don’t show up to make their summer homes. Look for them sailing low over open water or grassy fields intercepting their winged prey. Often two broods are raise in a season, so it is imperative that a good parent capture many insects to feed their hungry chicks.

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