Barn swallow Facts

Barn swallow Facts
Barn swallow is migratory bird that belongs to the group of songbirds. There are six subspecies of barn swallow that can be found all over the north hemisphere (Europe, Asia, Africa and North America). Barn swallow inhabits fields, meadows and rural areas. They often choose habitats near the water because they provide enough food. During the 19th century, barn swallows were hunted because of their feathers that were used in the manufacture of hats. These birds are used as source of food in some parts of the world. Despite that, barn swallows are common in nature and they are not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Barn swallow Facts:
Barn swallow can reach 6.7 to 7.5 inches in length and 0.56 to 0.78 ounces of weight. Tail feathers are 0.79 to 2.76 inches long.
Barn sparrow has red face. Upper part of the body is covered with blue feathers. Bottom side of the body is white. Dark blue band separates upper and lower part of the body. Young birds are covered with brown feathers.
Barn swallow has pointed wings and wingspan of 12.6 to 13.6 inches. Tail is deeply forked and longer in males.
Barn swallows fly in a zigzag manner at the speed of 11 meters per second. They often fly close to the surface of the ground and water and feed during the flight.
Barn swallows eat different types of large insects. Flies are their favorite food. Other than flies, they eat beetles, wasps, butterflies, moths and bees.
Thirsty barn swallow flies close to the surface of water and scoops water using its beak during the flight.
Main predators of barn swallows are cats, hawks, gulls and grackles.
Barn swallow produces cheerful warble and different types of calls when it is alarmed or excited. Barn swallows do not vocalize in their wintering grounds.
Barn swallow migrates to the south during the winter to avoid low temperatures and lack of food.
Barn swallows used caves and cliffs for building of nests in the past. "Modern" swallows build nests under the man-made structures such as barns, stables, buildings and bridges.
Nests are semi-circular in shape. Couple chooses location carefully and builds nest together, usually from May to June. Nests are made out of the mud, bird’s saliva and leaves.
Males are very aggressive during the nesting period. They keep all intruders (including large predators) on a safe distance.
Barn swallow produces two broods per season. Female lays 3 to 7 eggs. They hatch after incubation period of 12 to 17 days.
Barn swallows from the first brood and even unrelated birds often help in rearing of the hatchlings. Chicks are ready to leave the nest 15 to 27 days after hatching.
Barn swallow can survive up to 11 years in the wild, but they rarely live more than 4 years.

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