Female barn swallows select mates with symmetrical wings and tails and prefer longer tail feathers, all traits connected with increased strength, vitality, and longevity, as well as greater disease resistance.
Barn swallows have a symbiotic relationship with ospreys and will nest near them for protection while alerting the osprey of predators with alarm calls.
Barn swallows have an average lifespan of 4 years and those with longer, more symmetrical tails tend to live longer.
Un-mated male barn swallows often associate with a breeding pair for an entire season, helping with nest defense, nest building, incubation, and brooding, and may succeed in mating with the resident female.
The barn swallow is occasionally hunted for sport.
Both sexes of barn swallows help build the nest out of mud pellets, dry grass, straw, horsehair, and white feathers.
The main threat to barn swallows is agriculture including farming practices, loss of foraging areas, livestock rearing, improved hygiene, land drainage, and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Barn swallows contribute to the ecosystem by eating an enormous amount of insects and controlling their populations.
Barn swallows forage opportunistically and will follow tractors and plows in order to catch the insects that are disturbed by the machinery.
Although all swallows are socially monogamous, barn swallows differ in the sharing of parental care, raising 2 broods a summer of 2-7 eggs each.
The barn swallow is the most widespread swallow species and can be found in close proximity to humans all around the world. These small, distinctive, passerine birds are aerial foragers and catch their insectivorous prey while flying. Socially monogamous, they build nests and raise young in large colonies … Learn More
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