Barn Swallow

photo by Phil Swanson

Hirundo rustica
L 6 3/4″ (17 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Series of soft, twittering notes. Also gives a sharp “pit-vik.” note.

Description: Sexes similar.
Very long, deeply forked tail; glossy blue-black above; light cinnamon-rust below,  with rich chestnut-red throat and forehead; thin blue-black breast band; and white  undertail spots. Juveniles are paler overall with a shorter tail, but the tail is still noticeably forked.

barn swallow
Habitat: Found in open forests, farmlands, cities, and rural areas. Usually nest on or inside buildings that have horizontal beams available for nest sites.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state.

Fun Facts: The Barn Swallow is the most abundant and widely distributed swallow species in the world!

Additional Information: Judging from migration records, the Barn Swallow is the most common swallow in Nebraska as well.

Barn Swallow - photo by Phil Swanson Barn Swallow - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)