Barn Swallow


Barn Swallow

Spring is quite literally in the air!

The swift flying, aerially acrobatic Barn Swallow is a beloved, time-honored symbol for the arrival of spring throughout the entire Northern Hemisphere. A long distance migrating bird, North American Barn Swallows typically over-winter in South America, reappearing late March and April to breed in the springtime and in summer months.

The high flying Barn Swallow’s most distinguishing feature is its deeply forked tail, along with steel-blue upper parts, chestnut forehead and throat with a slender cinnamon belly.

Barn Swallows are insectivores with a diet compromised mainly of flies, aphids, mosquitoes, gnats and swarming termites. A single airborne Barn Swallow will consume 60 insects per hour and up to 850 per day. They have formed a mutually beneficial relationship with people, using man-made structures for nest placement near water sources while also serving to keep insect populations in check.

The male Barn Swallow returns each Spring to the breeding area, identifying a nesting site and launching into a courtship display that involves singing and circling flight. Barn Swallows are monogamous and typically mate for life. Both parents will diligently feed their hungry nestlings and recently fledged young before they achieve independence and the ability to adroitly catch insects on the wing. They’ll need that essential expertise in order to survive the epically long migration south for the winter, followed by their welcome home return flight here next year.

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Bird of the month flyer

Betty Kanne

Betty Kanne is a passionate birder based in Huntington Beach, California, known for her captivating "Bird of the Month" features authored for the HB Tree Society. With a keen eye and a deep appreciation for avian life, Betty brings to life the diverse array of bird species that call the Huntington Beach area home.

Betty's contributions play a vital role in raising awareness about the importance of birds in our ecosystems. Her dedication to sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for birding inspires others to engage with nature and become stewards of their local environment, fostering a deeper connection between the community and the rich avian diversity of Huntington Beach, California.

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