Friday, June 10, 2011

Barn Swallows: April Migration to Northern Illinois

Val's photo of Barn Swallows show their brilliant colors and their long tails and wings, Rock Cut State Park; 5/17/2009.
Barn Swallows are one of the most graceful and colorful of Swallows with their dark blue head, back and wings, contrasted brilliantly with its deep orange throat and forehead. The orange lightens as it lowers onto the breast then belly. In flight, Barn Swallows are easy to spot with their long forked tails. Even while perched you can see their thin long tails sticking out beyond their long wing tips (Above - photo by Val).
A Barn Swallow, Horicon Marsh national Wildlife Refuge, Horicon, WI; 5/29/2011.
Barn Swallows are one of five swallow species (along with Tree, Northern Rough-winged, Bank, and Cliff) that we have in Northern Illinois during the summer months. Barn Swallows are also found throughout the entire U.S. (save for extreme Southern California and Western Arizona, and the southern tip of Florida), Mexico, and much of Canada.

Barn Swallow on a bridge support, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 5/17/2009.
Barn Swallows can be found near man-made structures, almost exclusively building their bowl-shaped nests made of mud under bridges, and porch and barn roof overhangs.

Barn Swallows, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 5/17/2009.

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