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Birds

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  • Barn swallow
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234 illustration

Barn swallow

Hirundo rustica

Description:
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.

Habitat:
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.

Habits:
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.

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