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Barn Swallow Nest

Thanks for tuning in to watch our Barn swallow on its nest. Here are some interesting facts about Barn swallow to learn about as you watch!

  • Barn Swallows used to nest in caves but now build their nests almost exclusively on human-made structures such as eaves, rafters of barns, sheds and stables, as well as the undersides of bridges and culverts.
  • Both male and female build the nest cup using mud. They collect mud in their bills and often mix it with grass stems to make pellets.
  • They lay an average of 3 to 7 eggs and can have two clutches per year.
  • Egg incubation period is 15 days. The chicks are born helpless, with their eyes closed, and naked except for sparse tufts of  down.
  • Chicks will remain at the nest for 15 to 25 days.
  • Parents sometimes get help from other birds to feed their young. These helpers are usually older siblings from previous clutches.
  • Barn Swallows forage in open areas often over open water such as lakes, ponds and wetlands. Their diet consists of flying insects, whict they catch in mid air, such as beetles, wasps, butterflies, and moths.
  • They also drink and even bathe on the wing, dipping down to take a mouthful of water or touch their belly to the surface for a quick rinse.
  • Barn Swallow populations declined by over 1% per year from 1966 to 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 46%

 

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