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Barn Swallow

(Hirundo rustica)
Alternate name(s): "Chimney Swallow", "European Swallow", "House Swallow*"
Size: 17-19 cm; wing span 32-34.5 cm (race "rustica")
Weight: 16-22 g (race "rustica")


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

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "rustica"


Sex unknown

Near-dorsal view of two Barn Swallows taking a short rest in a shrub
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, September 2009]

Ventral view of a Barn Swallow in flight; note the deeply forked tail and the broad black chest band
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a Barn Swallow - sometimes they can be seen with their feet dangling in flight
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, April 2010]


Lateral view of a juvenile Barn Swallow - note the pale throat
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, September 2009]

Additional information

More photos of Barn Swallows, race "rustica", were taken by us in Europe.

Race "gutturalis"

Photos of Barn Swallows, race "gutturalis", were obtained by us in Australia.

Breeding information

For a more complete description and for breeding information, see our page about Barn Swallows in Europe.


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.

(Technically bad) frontal view of a Barn Swallow scooping water from a pond in flight
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, September 2009]


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.

bswallow_jp_20200625.m4a rustica
Contact calls © JP
bswallow_dw_20170729.m4a rustica
Contact calls (in flight) © DW
bswallow_dw_20170729_2.m4a rustica
Contact calls (in flight) © DW
bswallow_dw_20160902.m4a rustica
Contact calls(?) © DW
bswallow_dw_20170729_1.m4a rustica
Group chatter © DW
bswallow_dw_20160520_1.m4a rustica
Group chatter © DW
bswallow_dw_20180819.m4a rustica
Group chatter © DW
bswallow_hds_20200906.m4a rustica
Congregating for migration © HDS
bswallow_dw_20170729_0.m4a rustica
Various (in flight) © DW
bswallow_dw_20170729_2.m4a rustica
Various (in flight) © DW
bswallow_jp_20220217.mp3 rustica
Various © JP
bswallow_hds_20200906_2.m4a rustica
? © HDS
bswallow_dw_20160520_2.m4a rustica
? © DW

More Barn Swallow sound recordings are available at .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.