Barn swallows are very adaptable birds and nest anywhere with open areas for foraging, a water source, and a sheltered ledge, seeking out habitats of all types.
Barn swallows are very adaptable birds and breed in a wide range of climates over a wide altitudinal range. It is a bird of open country that normally uses man-made structures to breed and consequently has spread with human expansion. They prefer open country, such as farmland, where buildings provide nesting sites and where water is nearby, but can nest anywhere with open areas for foraging, a water source, and a sheltered ledge.
Barn swallows seek out open habitats of all types, including savanna, shrubland, grassland, inland wetlands, artificial terrestrial habitats, artificial aquatic and marine habitats, and agricultural areas. They are commonly found in barns or other outbuildings. It is primarily a rural species in Europe and North America, whilst in north Africa and Asia it often breeds in towns and cities. In urban areas in Europe it is superseded by the house martin (Delichon urbicum).
Barn swallows will build nests in barns or similar structures, under bridges, the eaves of old houses, and boat docks, as well as in rock caves and even on slow-moving trains. Barn swallows generally nest below 3000-meter elevation.
• Image | © Laura Wolf, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY 2.0)
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; McWilliams, 2000; Roth, 2002; Terres, 1991; Turner & Christie, 2017; Turner & Rose, 1989; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)