Photo by Melody

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Hirundo
Species: rustica


3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Joppa, Alabama
Black Hawk, Colorado
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Aurora, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Sioux City, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Traverse City, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Michael, Minnesota
Brunswick, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Norris, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
Walkerton, Virginia
Shelton, Washington
Stanwood, Washington

By wallaby1
Thumbnail #1 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by wallaby1

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #2 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Sheila_FW

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #3 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Sheila_FW

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #4 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Sheila_FW

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #5 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Sheila_FW

By Sheila_FW

Thumbnail #6 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Sheila_FW

By linthicum

Thumbnail #7 of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by linthicum

There are a total of 19 photos.
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Member Notes:

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 8, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

Often I notice them nesting in large open areas near buildings. They either prefer large water bodies for their common insects, large parks or mown area with scattered trees that are mown with at least one source of water. Then there are at least one pair which regularly nest at a gas station every year near my house for at least 3 years now - there's a nearby strip mall with a large parking lot - they might feed on insects that blunder in the open areas or are attracted to the lights during the night as the insects leave the suburban area? They hates forests or patchy lawns so nesting on suburban houses are rather rare unless those houses have large open yards measuring an acre or more. Having a pond or lake nearby increase the likehood you will see one.

Positive catzgalore On May 14, 2010, catzgalore from Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I love these guys!! I have some that nest at my front door each year. I love watching them raise their babies every year. They are a little messy when the babies start getting old enough to sit on the edge of the nest, but that's only for a couple of weeks then that parts over.

Neutral merigold On Jun 3, 2010, merigold from Sioux City, IA
(Zone 4b) wrote:

These stream line sleek birds are very territorial, but fun to watch as they circle, swoop, and dive. Not so much fun when they are diving at me as I walk to the mailbox.

Neutral sadiegirl1 On Jun 6, 2010, sadiegirl1 from San Angelo, TX wrote:

These birds are often called Purple Martins in West Texas. They reduce our mosquito population, but build nests on our porches and under the eves of our houses. Their nests stain the bricks, siding, or wood on our homes, and nothing seems to remove the stains. Therefore we try not to let them establish a nest. If they do, they come back year after year trying to rebuild in the same location.

Neutral friedaroy On Jul 27, 2011, friedaroy from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I can't say that I love them, because the nest on my back porch and poop on everything, but I do enjoy seeing them care for their young. I find it interesting that mom, dad and older siblings all care for each new batch of babies. Ours have been coming back for the past 4 years.

Positive Chillybean On Aug 13, 2012, Chillybean from Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

If I could give this bird a "super-positive", with a double order of thumbs up, I would.

We welcomed this bird on our front porch with joy in late May. After four unsuccessful years of attempted nesting, this year, they did it! We had to make some minor adjustments, but it was worth it being able to observe these fine birds up close. And from inside the house even. We heartily believe Someone gave us relatively new birders this blessing so we can learn about them- not just through books, but through observation.

Sure there's mud, there's poop, there's a bit of heartache when one nestling died, but we wonder if they learned to trust us a little when we kept replacing a fallen baby into the nest. We got to the point of being able to go into the front yard without fear of the Barn Swallows leaving, nor did they ever swoop at us. We wished they were territorial when a salesman came to the front door.

The Barn Swallows in flight are a beautiful thing to behold with their spotted forked tails. They are helping us by keeping the bug population in check. We hope they come back again in future years and are willing to make the sacrifices again.
Just an addition a year later: They found suitable nesting elsewhere, much to our sorrow, but they are still on our property. They bless us as we bless them. We've been hoarding our duck's feathers because of the house sparrows. So we will take a few outside when we see the Swallows flying around, fling the feathers into the air and watch the Swallows take the feathers, sometimes in mid-air.

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