The Barn Swallow

by MBC

My favorite song bird or passerine is the barn swallow. See some of my photos and learn more about these great little birds.

I’ve decided that (at this time) the Barn Swallow is my favorite bird. Why? Because they are so beautiful and they fly really fast! The coloring includes Steel blue upper parts, buff under parts with throat and forehead of rust. They have a deeply forked tail. Also they are very smart.

I saw my first Barn Swallow in June of 2015 under a structure at Belmar Lake in Lakewood, Colorado where they were nesting. They build their unique nests out of mud. Since then I have been back to observe these fabulous creatures often. I find them delightful. The introduction photo was taken by me.

I went back recently (it's winter) and the barn swallows had migrated. I'm not sure where these particular birds over winter. But I believe they winter in the tropics and Eurasia. Can't wait to see them again in the spring.

Story Showing that This is One Cleaver Bird

Not long ago they discovered in a large home improvement store that the Barn Swallows could hover in front of the electronic eye motion detectors and open doors. How cleaver they are! At the Maplewood, Minnesota Home Depot the barn swallows have returned every year since 2000 to nest inside away from predators and bad weather. This demonstrates how smart these little creatures actually are.

Sweet Little Barn Swallow Table Lamp

Red Umbrella
Red Umbrella
Pixabay

If You Love this Bird but Wish to Park in your Garage.

If you have a nice car and you want to park it in your garage, but the barn swallows have a nest there – I suggest hanging an upside down umbrella under the nest to protect your vehicle from the droppings.  Of course the birds don’t want to fowl their own nest!

This tip will work for any bird.

Swooping Over the Lake

I could spend hours watching these talented small birds swoop out over the water catching flies as they go.  One time I spent a lot of time trying to get a photo of the mother bird feeding her young ones, but alas the momma bird was just too fast for me to catch while she fed them.  She would dart in and back out so quickly.  Feeding one bird on each trip kept the mother busy all afternoon.  Finally I decided having a photo of the open mouthed youngsters was the best I could do that day.

In the Audubon field guide it estimates that some of the mother barn swallows fly as much at 600 miles (1000 kilometers) in search of food for their young. That burns a lot of calleries!

Waiting for Mom to Bring Food

Photo by Me
Barn Swallow Babies
Barn Swallow Babies

Why Do Birds Matter?

"Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth."

-Melanie Driscoll, Director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Flyway

Video of Baby Barn Swallows

What kind of Food do Barn Swallows Need?

Because these swallows eat primarily flying insects, they have a lack of calcium in their diet.  So they crave calcium  If you provide eggshells they will be attracted to your yard or feeder.

Or to be safer from predators spread your eggshells out on the roof.

More Articles on Birds

There are about 500 species that can be seen in Colorado. Here are a few I've managed to see or photograph in my home state.
I’m writing this article on Earth Day. Since I am an avid birder I want to offer you some suggestions on ways you can protect the birds wherever you live.
Starting with John James Audubon there have been many artists who have focused on birds. Painting, sketching, photography and sculpting of birds are some of the modalities used.
Find out about attracting and preserving Bluebirds and learn about the three species of bluebirds here.

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Updated: 11/28/2016, MBC
 
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Have you seen a barn swallow? What's your favorite bird?


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MBC on 11/22/2015

The barn swallow has two very long tail feathers on either side. I wish I could hang a feeder but my cat is an obstacle. There must be groups who go out to "bird" - check - do you have "meet-up" there? When you go out with others who have experience you can learn what you are looking at.

WriterArtist on 11/22/2015

Bird watching is my favourite hobby and though I do not get to see the exotic birds, I become happy by watching any bird flying around my small garden. During spring and summer, I see some rare birds with fancy colours in their feathers, I am not sure if there is one barn swallow in that group. I would love to identify what is what though.

MBC on 11/21/2015

Good for you. I love Great Horned Owls too! You need to experience these little flying wonders. Hope you get a chance to see them soon

candy47 on 11/21/2015

I've never seen a barn swallow. The Great Horned Owl is my favorite and I was lucky to get a few good pictures of one in a joshua tree.

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