About 19 centimetres long, the barn swallow has long, pointed wings and a deeply forked tail with elongated, wire-thin streamers. It is blue-glossed black above, whitish below, with a dark breast band and dark red throat and forehead.
The barn swallow is found across Europe during the summer, and winters in Africa. It lives commonly in cultivated areas in small villages and on farms.
The barn swallow’s nest is an open mud cup reinforced with plant material, typically built on a roof beam or projection inside a barn or under a bridges. It commonly hunts insects low over the ground, catching them in flight often around the legs of grazing cattle but also at treetop height.