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Barn Swallows
Barn Swallow. Photo: Katsura Miyamoto

About Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows have a long, deeply-forked tail, steely blue back, pale underparts, and a chestnut throat and forehead. Their flight patterns are quick and aerobatic.

Barn Swallows nest almost exclusively on human-made structures such as barns, bridges, culverts, and sheds. They make cup-shaped nests from mud and grasses, and attach them to a vertical wall with a ledge for support and an overhang for protection.

Males and females both participate in building a nest (or repairing an old nest used in a previous year). It's not uncommon for Barn Swallow pairs to have two broods in a nesting season.

A typical clutch contains between three and seven speckled eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for 12 to 17 days. After hatching, both parents feed the chicks, which remain in the nest for about 20 days.

Once fledglings can fly, parents continue to care for them for about a week. Until fall migration, Barn Swallows may remain close to where they were hatched or travel to other areas.

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