Wings of Elegance: The Enchanting Aerial Journey of the Swift Swallow (Video)


Hinterland Who's Who - Barn Swallow



With its iconic long and pointed wings that cut through the air with grace, the swallow is a bird known for its exceptional speed and agility as it soars and swoops through the sky. Recognized by its forked tail and vibrant plumage, the swallow holds a special place in the world of avian wonders.

Photos - Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica - Birds of the World



In the UK and Ireland, the return of swallows in April, trailing tail streamers behind them, is often seen as a herald of the impending summer. These small, agile birds exhibit a striking appearance with shiny blue-black upperparts and a distinctive blood-red forehead, chin, and throat. Their wings are narrow and elongated, enabling them to maneuver with finesse during flight.


The swallow’s calls are a testament to its liveliness, with cheerful “vit” calls uttered during flight. Additionally, their pleasant, warbling song fills the air, announcing their presence as they grace the skies from mid-April onwards.

These skilled aerial hunters prefer to seek out flying insects over various landscapes such as old pastures, agricultural fields, hedges, woodlands, and bodies of water. Their diet includes a range of insects, including mosquitoes and bees.




Swallows are summer visitors to the UK and Ireland, with their stay usually spanning from April to October. During their time away from breeding, they roost communally in reed-beds and can be observed in pre-migration flocks. These birds thrive in areas with abundant small insects, often favoring open pastures with access to water.

The swallow’s distinctive red face might not always be easy to spot from a distance, and during flight, the bird may appear as a sleek silhouette against the sky. Their flight is marked by rapid and powerful wing beats, showcasing their remarkable aerial prowess.

Photos and Videos for Barn Swallow, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Breeding in the UK typically begins in early June, and by July, most of the young birds will have left the nest. Some pairs even manage to raise a second or third brood. The mud and straw nests of swallows are commonly found in recesses inside buildings and under bridges.

In terms of lifespan, a swallow can live for up to 16 years, although the average is around 2 years. As migratory birds, they embark on a remarkable journey to overwinter in the southern half of Africa. During the months of September and October, thousands of swallows gather in preparation for their migration, a spectacle that marks the transition from summer to the colder seasons. Remarkably, swallows return to the same nest site each year, with males arriving ahead of time to secure their territories.

The swallow’s aerial dance and migratory feats inspire awe and wonder, encapsulating the beauty and dynamism of the natural world.


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