Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Status

Threatened

Description

The barn swallow is medium-sized with steely-blue upperparts, cinnamon underparts and a chestnut throat and forehead. They have a forked tail with a white band and elongated outer feathers. Males typically have longer outer tail-streamers and have a darker chestnut colour on the underparts than females.

Habitat

Barn Swallows have rapidly shifted from natural to artificial nesting sites due to human development and expansion. Natural sites they may still use include cliff faces, river edges and canyon walls. They are mostly associated with nesting sites in man made or artificial structures that have a horizontal or a vertical face with something overhanging to provide shelter. This could be open barns, garages, sheds, boat houses, bridges, culverts and verandas and are usually situated on beams, posts, ledges or over windows and doors. Their nesting sites are usually situated near somewhere wet or where there is water as they require mud pellets for their nests.

Threats

Loss of nesting sites do to conversion of old wooden structures to more modern buildings that are less suitable for nesting
Large scale decline in abundance of flying insects
Competition for nesting sites with invasive house sparrows
Removal of nests for building maintenance and cleaning.

You Can Help!

Retain structures that may contain nesting sites
Install Barn Swallow boxes or houses

Resources

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