Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Barn swallows have many predators including kestrels, hawks, owls, gulls, grackles, rats, squirrels, weasels, raccoons, bobcats, cats, snakes, bullfrogs, fish, and fire ants.

American kestrels (Falco sparverius) and other hawks, such as sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus) and Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperii), eastern screech owls (Megascops asio), gulls (Laridae), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), boat-tailed grackles (Quiscalus major), brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), squirrels (Sciuridae), weasels (Mustela), Northern raccoons (Procyon lotor), bobcats (Lynx rufus), domestic cats (Felis catus), snakes (Serpentes), bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), fish (Actinopterygii), and fire ants (Formicidae) are predators of barn swallows.

Most predators of barn swallows attack the nestlings, but hawks, falcons, and owls tend to hunt adults.

Barn swallows usually give alarm calls when predators come near. They mainly escape predators by being swift and agile in flight and by building their nests in places that are difficult for predators to reach.


Image | © Bernard DUPONT, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sources | (Barker, Ewins, & Miller, 1994; Brown & Brown, 1999; Roth, 2002)

 

Learn More About the Barn Swallow

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