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Like many of its species the Barn Swallow is a welcome summer visitor. It has a long forked tail and red face. Its slender body sports a blue black back with buff colored feathers below. It has a beautiful blue band at the throat and blue cheeks that border a red face. The tail feathers have white spots above and patches below. Females are duller in color and have shorter tails. The legs of this bird are short and weak which make it not suited at all for the ground. On the ground it proceeds in a clumsy shuffle that makes it easy prey for predators.
The Barn Swallow is an acrobatic flier, catching insects on the wing as it flies along at what seems to be incredible speeds. They are often seen flying at very low levels across fields and farmland. Their wing movements are leisurely and graceful making them appear to be floating until they are ready to change direction. This is done without any apparent change in speed or rhythm. They are often seen flying over a small pond picking insects off the surface with their tiny bills. One of the Barn Swallows favorite food source are flies which makes them popular with farmers.
Frequently nests are built inside farm buildings, culverts or under bridges although they originally nested along cliffs in caves and rocky crevices of mountains. These birds nest in colonies so during the nesting season it is not unusual to see large groups in one area. The nest are saucer shaped constructions of mud and grass lined with feathers. The females lay four to six white eggs that are spotted in a variety of colors. Before mating season ends, two or three broods are raised so it is not unusual to see some of the newest arrivals left behind in the autumn. As the flock prepares to migrate these birds are seen gathering on utility wires in large groups before returning south.