Barn Swallow

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Magic Cards

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Barn Swallow

Length about 7 inches; distinguished among our swallows by deeply forked tail. While they breed throughout the United States, they winter to South America.

This is one of the most familiar farm birds and a great insect destroyer, seeking prey from daylight to dark on tireless wings. Its favorite nesting site was barn rafters, upon which it stuck mud baskets to hold its eggs. But modern barns are fewer and so tightly constructed that swallows cannot gain entrance, and in much of this country, they have turned to boat docks, commercial buildings, summer homes, and the out buildings of rural suburbs to keep the species going. Like other rural birds, they have to adjust to changing land-use patterns.


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