The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is a small bird species occurring almost worldwide including Europe, Asia, northern Australia, Africa, and the Americas. The birds are migratory and breed in the northern hemisphere while staying on the southern continents during the winter months. The open countryside is their favourite habitat (e.g., pastures or meadows), but at the same time they stay close to villages. This association to humans is caused by their breeding behaviour as they generally attach their cup-shaped nests to buildings such as the name-giving barns. Their diet consists predominantly of insects caught while flying a few metres above the ground. Similarly, the swallows can be observed drinking water via skimming low across lakes and rivers. Their flying skills are truly remarkable as everyone who has seen them will agree! Traditionally, the birds and their nests have been tolerated by humans for many centuries and their arrival in spring was an important sign of the coming summer. Consequently, barn swallows were mentioned frequently in literature including even a reference in the Bible. I have photographed these pretty birds in May 2015 in northern Germany.
A familiar summer visitor to us here in South Africa
here too!! 😉
Beautiful bird! Love the blue color. I have never seen it I think, but I should as you say it is almost worldwide…
thank you for your comment! The barn swallows are actually very common and also occur in Norway, but most of the time you see them only flying by very fast…
Nice set of photos. I haven’t had much luck capturing swallows in pictures since they dart about so much!
yes, I know what you mean – I also could not photograph them flying… but I know where they breed and rest, so I took a chair and waited for a few minutes – luckily, they came quite soon to pose for me!
Very beautiful !!!!
thanks a lot!! 🙂