Swallow / Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica )
Swallow / Barn Swallow - Swallow / Barn Swallow information - Swallow / Barn Swallow facts
The swallows are distributed all around Europe except for Scandinavia, then throughout Asia except for the northern areas. For winter they take a long and exhausting journey towards Africa and when the spring begins they fly all the way back to the original place they left beforehand. This exceptional sense of navigation is truly remarkable. They even occupy the same nest they left behind the previous year! The male birds - the cocks return earlier in order to protect their nest. If another cock- rival turns up, they fight furiously until one of the males gives up.
The barn swallow, in Latin Hirundo rustica, has got an elegant body with chestnut forehead and throat. The belly is whitish and the wings are blue and dark grey colored. It has got typical long tail streamers. The males and the females look similar. Their size is approximately 20 cm (8 inches).
The swallows live in a nest made of mud, roots and grass. They fly many times to different places when searching the material for their nest. Their nests are located in an area, which is close to the water. Their nests can be found on trees, in hollow trees, in caves and on many buildings as well. In spring they fly back to Europe in a spectacular flying formation. The female birds lay up to 5 white eggs with reddish and grey spotting. The Barn swallow usually feeds on flying invertebrates.