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25

Barn Swallow

(Hirundo rustica)
Alternate name(s): "Chimney Swallow", "European Swallow", "House Swallow*"
German name(s): "Rauchschwalbe"

Size: 17-19 cm; wing span: 32-34.5 cm (race "rustica")
Weight: 16-22 g (race "rustica")

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Barn Swallow at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "rustica"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Barn Swallow near its nest in a shed (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger & Fink family)
[Eltille, Rheingau, Germany, July 2016]

Pair of Barn Swallows on their roost near the nest (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger & Fink family)
[Eltille, Rheingau, Germany, July 2016]

Near-frontal view of a pair of Barn Swallows on a power line (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Near-lateral view of a Barn Swallow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Near-lateral view of a Barn Swallow calling (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Lateral view of a Barn Swallow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Cala Gonone, eastern Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a Barn Swallow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Kaczkowo near Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2015]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Barn Swallow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Kaczkowo near Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, June 2015]

Lateral view of a juvenile Barn Swallow in reeds, waiting to be fed (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Lateral view of a juvenile Barn Swallow, here seen begging (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Barn Swallow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Kaczkowo near Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, June 2015]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - Aug Eggs: 4 - 5 Incubation period: 14 - 19 days Fledging age: 18 - 23 days

The length of the breeding season depends on geographic latitude and can start in February in southern parts of the range. Barn Swallows usually have two broods per season. They can breed in alpine areas of up to 2700 m (3000 m in North America).

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Mostly female Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Mud, feathers Height above ground: 2 - ? m

Clutch of four near-flegding age Barn Swallow chicks in their nest (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger & Fink family)
[Eltille, Rheingau, Germany, July 2016]

Frontal portrait of a Barn Swallow on its nest (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Kaczkowo near Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, May 2015]

Barn Swallow nest under an awning (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Eggs

Size: 20 x 14 mm Colour: White, with dark-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Flock

Food, Diet

Adults: Small insects Dependents: As adults Water intake: Daily(?)

Like all other swallows known to us, Barn Swallows are insect hunters. They feed in-flight on small insects.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

bswallo_dw_20160520_1.mp3 rustica
(Poland)
Group chatter © DW
bswallo_dw_20160520_2.mp3 rustica
(Poland)
? © DW
bswallo_dw_20160520_3.mp3 rustica
(Poland)
? © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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