Thursday, December 22, 2016

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

I photographed this Northern Rough-winged Swallow at the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault in May 2016. This swallow gets its name from the rough outer edge of its outer primary feather. This edge is caused by feather barbs, recurved in males, or pointed in females. The swallow’s scientific name is Stelgidopteryx serripennis, which translates to “scrapper-wing saw-feather” (De Jong 1996), The function of this structure eludes ornithologists.

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