Thursday, July 15, 2010

Barn Swallow

Mid-July is upon us and we have the first sign of fall: Barn Swallows beginning to congregate on area power lines.  These swallows winter in Central and South America.  This species may be our only long-distance migrant that also breeds in its wintering grounds: Barn Swallows are known to nest in the austral summer in northern Argentina. These birds may be becoming southern residents and not making the return migration to North America.

Barn Swallows historically nested in caves, but now almost exclusively use human habitations.  This abundant species breeds across North America, Asia, and Europe, and its range is spreading along with human populations.

My source for most of this information is Brown, Charles R. and Mary Bomberger Brown. 1999. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/452.

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