- 1.1. Boreal
- 1.2. Subarctic
- 1.3. Subantarctic
- 1.4. Temperate
- 1.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 1.6. Subtropical/tropical moist lowland
- 1.7. Subtropical/tropical mangrove vegetation above high tide level
- 1.8. Subtropical/tropical swamp
- 1.9. Subtropical/tropical moist montane
North American Animals
- 2.1. Dry
- 2.2. Moist
- 3.1. Subarctic
- 3.2. Subantarctic
- 3.3. Boreal
- 3.4. Temperate
- 3.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 3.6. Subtropical/tropical moist
- 3.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude
- 3.8. Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation
- 4.1. Tundra
- 4.2. Subarctic
- 4.3. Subantarctic
- 4.4. Temperate
- 4.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
- 4.6. Subtropical/tropical seasonally wet/flooded
- 4.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude
- 5.1. Permanent rivers/streams/creeks (includes waterfalls)
- 5.2. Seasonal/intermittent/irregular rivers/streams/creeks
- 5.3. Shrub dominated wetlands
- 5.4. Bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, peatlands
- 5.5. Permanent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
- 5.6. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
- 5.7. Permanent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
- 5.8. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
- 5.9. Freshwater springs and oases
- 5.10. Tundra wetlands (inc. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt)
- 5.11. Alpine wetlands (inc. temporary waters from snowmelt)
- 5.12. Geothermal wetlands
- 5.13. Permanent inland deltas
- 5.14. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes
- 5.15. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes and flats
- 5.16. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
- 5.17. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
- 5.18. Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems (inland)
- 9.1. Pelagic
- 9.2. Subtidal rock and rocky reefs
- 9.3. Subtidal loose rock/pebble/gravel
- 9.4. Subtidal sandy
- 9.5. Subtidal sandy-mud
- 9.6. Subtidal muddy
- 9.7. Macroalgal/kelp
- 9.8. Coral Reef
- 9.8.1. Outer reef channel
- 9.8.2. Back slope
- 9.8.3. Foreslope (outer reef slope)
- 9.8.4. Lagoon
- 9.8.5. Inter-reef soft substrate
- 9.8.6. Inter-reef rubble substrate
- 9.9 Seagrass (Submerged)
- 9.10 Estuaries
Marine Neritic Animals
- 10.1 Epipelagic (0–200 m)
- 10.2 Mesopelagic (200–1,000 m)
- 10.3 Bathypelagic (1,000–4,000 m)
- 10.4 Abyssopelagic (4,000–6,000 m)
Marine Oceanic Animals
- 11.1 Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200–4,000 m)
- 11.1.1 Hard Substrate
- 11.1.2 Soft Substrate
- 11.2 Abyssal Plain (4,000–6,000 m)
- 11.3 Abyssal Mountain/Hills (4,000–6,000 m)
- 11.4 Hadal/Deep Sea Trench (>6,000 m)
- 11.5 Seamount
- 11.6 Deep Sea Vents (Rifts/Seeps)
Marine Deep Ocean Floor Animals
- 12.1 Rocky Shoreline
- 12.2 Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, etc.
- 12.3 Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches
- 12.4 Mud Shoreline and Intertidal Mud Flats
- 12.5 Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
- 12.6 Tidepools
- 12.7 Mangrove Submerged Roots
Marine Intertidal Animals
- 13.1 Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands
- 13.2 Coastal Caves/Karst
- 13.3 Coastal Sand Dunes
- 13.4 Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
- 13.5 Coastal Freshwater Lakes
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Animals
- 14.1 Arable Land
- 14.2 Pastureland
- 14.3 Plantations
- 14.4 Rural Gardens
- 14.5 Urban Areas
- 14.6 Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
Artificial Terrestrial Animals
- 15.1 Water Storage Areas [over 8 ha]
- 15.2 Ponds [below 8 ha]
- 15.3 Aquaculture Ponds
- 15.4 Salt Exploitation Sites
- 15.5 Excavations (open)
- 15.6 Wastewater Treatment Areas
- 15.7 Irrigated Land [includes irrigation channels]
- 15.8 Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
- 15.9 Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
- 15.10 Karst and Other Subterranean Hydrological Systems [human-made]
- 15.11 Marine Anthropogenic Structures
- 15.12 Mariculture Cages
- 15.13 Mari/Brackish-culture Pond
FaunaFocus features various talented artists, all with an interest in wildlife.
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.
Several studies have researched sexual selection in barn swallows.
Males try to attract females by spreading their tails to display them and singing.
Female barn swallows have been documented selecting for symmetrical wings and tails in potential mates. Males exhibiting greater symmetry acquired mates more quickly than did asymmetric males.
Asymmetry can result from genetic factors such as inbreeding or mutations as well as from environmental stress such as food deficiency, parasite infestation, or the presence of pathogens. Asymmetry of physical characteristics in barn swallows tends to be transmitted to the young in distinct parent to offspring patterns. Tail asymmetry tends to pass from father to son and from mother to daughter. Alternatively, wing asymmetry does not appear to transfer at all on a reliable basis from parent to offspring. Individuals affected by these factors not only exhibited asymmetry, but also decreased strength and longevity. Therefore, females that selected symmetrical mates would presumably be selecting superior mates.
In addition to selecting for symmetry, females also tend to select males with longer tail feathers. A connection between the tail length of male barn swallows and their offspring’s vitality and longevity has been observed. Males with longer tail feathers exhibit traits of greater longevity which is passed on to their offspring. Females thus gain an indirect fitness benefit from this form of selection, as longer tail feathers indicate a genetically stronger individual who will produce offspring with enhanced vitality. Individuals with longer tails have also been observed to demonstrate greater disease resistance than their short-tailed counterparts. There is also evidence that males select female mates with long tails.
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 frequently engage in a symbiotic relationship with ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), coexisting in a single nesting area to the mutual benefit of both species. Barn swallows will nest either below a much larger osprey nest or in a portion of an abandoned osprey nest.
By nesting near an osprey population, the barn swallows receive protection from birds of prey, which are driven away from the nests by the much larger ospreys. In return, ospreys are alerted to the presence of these predators by the barn swallows which give alarm calls when predators are nearby.
Barn swallows have an average lifespan of 4 years and those with longer, more symmetrical tails tend to live longer.
The average lifespan of barn swallows is 4 years. Barn swallows of 8 years of age have been documented, but these are considered the exception.
Survival prospects and longevity appear to increase with tail length and wing and tail symmetry.
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.
Un-mated adults often associate with a breeding pair for up to an entire season. Though these helpers do not usually feed the young, they may help with nest defense, nest building, incubation, and brooding.
Helpers are predominantly male, and may succeed in mating with the resident female, leading to polygyny.
• Image | © Michael Levine-Clark, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Bolzern, Moller, & Saino, 1997; Brown & Brown, 1999; De Lope & Moller, 1993; Moller, June 1994, July 1994, 1995; Roth, 2002)
Both sexes of barn swallows help build the nest out of mud pellets, dry grass, straw, horsehair, and white feathers.
Both sexes of barn swallow help build the nest, which measures a cup or half-cup.
The nest’s exterior is made from mud pellets mixed with fibers such as dry grass, straw, and horsehair. The nest is lined with dry grass and white feathers. Originally nests were built in caves or on cliffs but now they’re almost always on artificial structures.
• Image | © Tony’s Takes, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; Brown & Brown, 1999; McWilliams, 2000; Perrins, 1989; Roth, 2002; Terres, 1991; Turner & Rose, 1989; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)
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.
The main threat to the barn swallow is the intensification of agriculture. Barn swallow populations are generally considered to be stable and sufficiently extensive. However, declines in the amount of acreage devoted to agriculture in recent years have resulted in reduced barn swallow numbers. This can be attributed to a reduction in habitat as the barns and outbuildings which once housed barn swallows, give way to more urban settings.
Changes in farming practices such as the abandonment of traditional milk and beef production have resulted in a loss of suitable foraging areas. In addition, there has been a reduction in food supply. Insects attracted by the presence of livestock and the ideal surrounding habitat are the primary food source for barn swallows living in agricultural areas. Locations where farming has ceased exhibit a 50% reduction in insect populations. Intensive livestock rearing, improved hygiene, land drainage, and the use of herbicides and pesticides all reduce the numbers of insect prey available.
Lastly, suitable nest sites are often scarcer on modern farms.
Barn swallows contribute to the ecosystem by eating an enormous amount of insects and controlling their populations.
Barn swallows eat an enormous amount of insects and are very important in the control of their populations. They are quite effective in reducing insect pest populations.
Barn swallows are also a useful food source for many predators.
Barn swallows can also serve as an indicator or trigger organism, indicating possible environmental trouble, as declines in their relatively abundant numbers may precede other more obvious effects of environmental stress.
Barn swallows forage opportunistically and will follow tractors and plows in order to catch the insects that are disturbed by the machinery.
Barn swallows forage opportunistically. They have been observed following tractors and plows in order to catch the insects that are disturbed by the machinery.
A study in West Virginia found that barn swallows foraged within 1.2 kilometers of their nests. In Europe, barn swallows foraged within 500 meters of their nest.
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.
Although all swallows are socially monogamous, barn swallows differ from most swallow species in the sharing of parental care. In North America, both parents incubate the eggs, which hatch in 13 to 15 days. However, females provide more parental care than do males.
Barn swallows usually raise two broods of chicks each summer. The female lays a clutch of two to seven eggs, with an average of five.
The chicks are naked and helpless when they hatch. Both parents feed and protect the chicks, as well as remove fecal sacs from the nest. During the nestling period, barn swallow parents may feed their nestlings up to 400 times per day. Barn swallows feed their chicks insects compressed into a pellet, which is transported to the nest in the parent’s throat. Juveniles from the first brood of the season have even been observed assisting their parents in feeding a second brood.
The nestlings remain in the nest for about 20 days before fledging. When barn swallows are handled by humans they tend to attempt to fledge at least a day too early. The parents continue to care for the chicks for up to a week after fledging, feeding them and leading them back to the nest to sleep. By two weeks after fledging, the barn swallow chicks have dispersed and often travel widely to other barn swallow colonies.
Young barn swallows are able to breed in the first breeding season after they have hatched. Generally, young barn swallows do not produce as many eggs as do older birds.
The barn swallow’s global population is estimated at about 290,000,000-500,000,000 individuals, 20% of which can be found in Europe.
Barn swallows continue to be widespread and common throughout their range. The barn swallow’s global population is estimated at about 290,000,000-500,000,000 individuals.
The European population is estimated at 29,000,000-48,700,000 pairs, which equates to 58,000,000-97,400,000 mature individuals. Europe forms approximately 20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 290,000,000-487,000,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
National population estimates include: c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs and > c.1,000 individuals on migration in China; c.10,000- 100,000 breeding pairs, > c.10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000 individuals on migration in Korea; c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs, > c.1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia.
The barn swallow has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America. Trends for the European population between 1980 and 2013 have been stable, however, the European population size is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 11.7 years, or three generations.
Because barn swallow nests can be unsightly and can create cleanliness and health issues for humans, they are sometimes removed as a nuisance.
Some humans feel that barn swallow nests are a nuisance, and are unsightly when they are attached to buildings and other man-made structures. Large colonies in urban areas can also create detrimental cleanliness and health issues for humans. Finally, salmonella can be transmitted through barn swallow feces, posing a threat to livestock that live in close proximity to barn swallow colonies.
As such, barn swallow nests are sometimes removed as a nuisance.
Barn swallows have a wide variety of calls used in different situations and will sing, both individually and as a group.
Barn swallows use vocalizations and body language, such as postures and movements, to communicate.
Barn swallows sing, both individually and as a group. Barn swallows have individual songs and often sing as a chorus.
They have a wide variety of calls used in different situations, from predator alarm calls, to courtship calls, and calls of young in nests. Nestlings give off a faint chirp while begging for food. Barn swallows also make clicking noises, which they create by snapping their jaws together.
Barn swallows are aerial foraging insectivores and feed almost entirely on flying insects, such as flies, grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, beetles, and moths.
Barn swallows are aerial foraging insectivores and feed almost entirely on flying insects. Flies, grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, beetles, moths, and other flying insects make up 99% of their diet.
Barn swallows catch most of their prey while in flight, and are able to feed their young at the nest while flying.
• Image | © Tony’s Takes, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; Brown & Brown, 1999; Perrins, 1989; Roth, 2002; Snow & Perrins, 1998; Terres, 1991; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)
Because of its extremely large range and population size, the barn swallow is evaluated as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The barn swallow has an extremely large range, and is not endangered, although there may be local population declines due to specific threats. The barn swallow does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 kilometers squared combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation).
Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations).
The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure).
For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The barn swallow is migratory as it is susceptible to climate change and bad weather and will migrate to sub-Saharan Africa, southern Europe, South America, and South Asia in the winter months.
The barn swallow is susceptible to changes in climate with bad weather in the wintering areas as well as the breeding grounds affecting breeding success. As such, the barn swallow is migratory.
European birds winter in sub-Saharan Africa, although some individuals winter in southern and western Europe each year. Birds breeding in North America winter in South America whilst birds breeding in East Asia winter in South Asia.
While migrating, barn swallows tend to fly over open areas, often near water or along mountain ridges.
• Image | © Capri23auto, Some Rights Reserved, Pixabay
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; McWilliams, 2000; Roth, 2002; Snow & Perrins, 1998; Terres, 1991; Tucker & Heath, 1994; Turner & Christie, 2017)
Barn swallows are socially monogamous, but genetically polygamous, as extra-pair copulations are common.
Like all swallows, barn swallows are socially monogamous. However, extra-pair copulations are common, making this species genetically polygamous.
The barn swallow’s breeding season is usually from May to August, but this varies greatly with location. Breeding pairs form each spring after arrival on the breeding grounds. Pairs re-form each spring, though pairs that have nested together successfully may mate together for several years.
• Image | © daniela de gol, Some Rights Reserved, Unsplash
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; Bolzern, Moller, & Saino, 1997; Brown & Brown, 1999; De Lope & Moller, 1993; McWilliams, 2000; Moller, June 1994, July 1994, 1995; Perrins, 1989; Roth, 2002; Terres, 1991)
Barn swallows are often seen in large social groups and nest colonially, as a result of the distribution of high quality nests.
Barn swallows are often seen in large social groups sitting on telephone wires or other elevated structures.
Barn swallows also nest colonially, probably as a result of the distribution of high quality nest sites. Within a colony, barn swallows defend a territory around their nest. In European barn swallows, these territories range in size from about 4 to 8 square meters.
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)
The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world and is native in all the biogeographic regions except Antarctica.
Barn swallows are native in all the biogeographic regions except Antarctica. The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world and is found in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
The breeding range of barn swallows includes North America, northern Europe, northcentral Asia, northern Africa, the Middle East, southern China, and Japan. European birds winter in sub-Saharan Africa, although some individuals winter in southern and western Europe each year. Birds breeding in North America winter in South America whilst birds breeding in East Asia winter in South Asia, Indonesia, and Micronesia.
• Image | © Laura Wolf, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY 2.0)
• Sources | (BirdLife International, 2016; Roth, 2002; Snow & Perrins, 1998; Terres, 1991; Tucker & Heath, 1994; Turner & Christie, 2017; Turner & Rose, 1989; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)
Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!
What are alternate names for the barn swallow?
How many subspecies of barn swallow are recognized?
What is the barn swallow’s diet?
Barn swallows are migratory.
Barn swallows are considered a nuisance.
How much of a barn swallow’s diet is caught in the air?
What sounds do barn swallows make?
What is the barn swallow’s rhythm?
What preys on barn swallows?
Barn swallows live in close association with humans.
Like all swallows, barn swallows are socially monogamous.
What is the barn swallow’s mating system?
How long is barn swallow incubation?
Like all swallows, barn swallows share parental care of the young.
Which bird competes with barn swallows for nesting sites?
What is the parental investment of the barn swallow?
Barn swallows are opportunistic foragers.
What is the barn swallow’s social system?
There are currently conservation measures for the barn swallow in Europe.
What habitats do barn swallows inhabit?
The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow.
Un-mated barn swallows will help mated barn swallows with which tasks?
Barn swallows have a symbiotic relationship with what bird?
Barn swallows use what materials to build nests?
What continents does the barn swallow inhabit?
What is linked to longer longevity in barn swallows?
There is sexual dimorphism in the coloration of the barn swallow.
What is the global population of barn swallows?
What is the barn swallow evaluated on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
How do male barn swallows attract a mate?
What is the barn swallow’s population trend?
What is the barn swallow’s scientific name?
How do barn swallows negatively effect humans?
How do barn swallows drink?
To where do European barn swallows migrate?
Barn swallows sing individually and as a group.
Barn swallow chicks are born with feathers.
How do barn swallows defend against predators?
What type of carnivore is the barn swallow?
What type of predator is the barn swallow?
How many broods will a barn swallow have each breeding season?
What percentage of barn swallow subspecies are migratory?
The barn swallow is hunted for sport.
When is the barn swallow’s breeding season?
How many eggs are in an average barn swallow clutch?
Which bird parasitizes barn swallow nests?
How many times per day do barn swallows feed their nestlings?
When do barn swallows sexually mature?
What encourages barn swallow nesting?
Where are barn swallows more rural?
The barn swallow is native to all biogeographic regions.
Un-mated barn swallows are always male.
How do barn swallows benefit other species?
How far will barn swallows forage from their nests?
Which barn swallows build the nest?
The barn swallow is the national bird of which countries?
What is the average lifespan of a barn swallow?
There is sexual dimorphism in the outer tail-streamers of barn swallows.
Europe forms what percentage of the barn swallow’s global range?
What prevents the barn swallow from being endangered?
What do female barn swallows prefer in a mate?
What threatens barn swallows?
How do barn swallows contribute to the ecosystem?
How large is a barn swallow colony’s territory?
What can help conserve barn swallows?
Barn swallows will nest anywhere with what features?
What causes asymmetry in barn swallows?
How much did you know about the barn swallow? Share your results in the comments!
In Anglophone Europe, the barn swallow is simply called the “swallow” and in Nothern Europe, it’s the only common species called a “swallow” rather than a “martin.”
In Anglophone Europe, the barn swallow is just called the swallow. In Northern Europe, it is the only common species called a swallow rather than a martin.
Six subspecies of the barn swallow are generally recognized.
Six subspecies of the barn swallow are generally recognized, all of which breed across the Northern Hemisphere. Four are strongly migratory, and their wintering grounds cover much of the Southern Hemisphere as far south as central Argentina, the Cape Province of South Africa, and northern Australia.
In eastern Asia, a number of additional or alternative forms have been proposed, including saturata by Robert Ridgway in 1883, kamtschatica by Benedykt Dybowski in 1883, ambigua by Erwin Stresemann, and mandschurica by Wilhelm Meise in 1934. There are uncertainties over the validity of these forms.
H. r. rustica, the nominate European subspecies, breeds in Europe and Asia, as far north as the Arctic Circle, south to North Africa, the Middle East and Sikkim, and east to the Yenisei River. It migrates on a broad front to winter in Africa, Arabia, and the Indian subcontinent. The barn swallows wintering in southern Africa are from across Eurasia to at least 91°E, and have been recorded as covering up to 11,660 kilometers (7,250 miles) on their annual migration. The nominate European subspecies was the first to have its genome sequenced and published.
H. r. transitiva was described by Ernst Hartert in 1910. It breeds in the Middle East from southern Turkey to Israel and is partially resident, though some birds winter in East Africa. It has orange red underparts and a broken breast band.
H. r. savignii, the resident Egyptian subspecies, was described by James Stephens in 1817 and named for French zoologist Marie Jules César Savigny. It resembles transitiva, which also has orange-red underparts, but savignii has a complete broad breast band and deeper red hue to the underparts.
H. r. gutturalis, described by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli in 1786, has whitish underparts and a broken breast band. Breast chestnut and lower underparts more pink-buff. The populations that breed in the central and eastern Himalayas have been included in this subspecies, although the primary breeding range is Japan and Korea. The east Asian breeders winter across tropical Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and New Guinea. Increasing numbers are wintering in Australia. It hybridises with H. r. tytleri in the Amur River area. It is thought that the two eastern Asia forms were once geographically separate, but the nest sites provided by expanding human habitation allowed the ranges to overlap.
H. r. gutturalis is a vagrant to Alaska and Washington, but is easily distinguished from the North American breeding subspecies, H. r. erythrogaster, by the latter’s reddish underparts.
H. r. tytleri, first described by Thomas Jerdon in 1864, and named for British soldier, naturalist and photographer Robert Christopher Tytler, has deep orange-red underparts and an incomplete breast band. The tail is also longer. It breeds in central Siberia south to northern Mongolia and winters from eastern Bengal east to Thailand and Malaysia.
H. r. erythrogaster, the North American subspecies described by Pieter Boddaert in 1783, differs from the European subspecies in having redder underparts and a narrower, often incomplete, blue breast band. It breeds throughout North America, from Alaska to southern Mexico, and migrates to the Lesser Antilles, Costa Rica, Panama and South America to winter. A few may winter in the southernmost parts of the breeding range. This subspecies funnels through Central America on a narrow front and is therefore abundant on passage in the lowlands of both coasts.
The short wings, red belly, and incomplete breast band of H. r. tytleri are also found in H. r. erythrogaster, and DNA analyses show that barn swallows from North America colonised the Baikal region of Siberia, a dispersal direction opposite to that for most changes in distribution between North America and Eurasia.
• Image | © Bernard DUPONT, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
• Sources | (Dekker, 2003; Dickinson & Dekker, 2001; Dickinson, Eck, & Milensky, 2002; Formenti, et al., 2019; Hilty, 2003; Moller, June 1994, July 1994; Rasmussen & Anderton, 2005; Roth, 2002; Sibley, 2007; Stiles & Skutch, 2003; Svensson, Mullarney, & Zetterstrom, 2010; Terres, 1991; Turner & Rose, 1989; Vaurie, 1951; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019; Zink, Pavlova, Rohwer, & Drovetski, 2006)
|Noelle M. Brooks||Robin||Pren|
FaunaFocus featured the leopard throughout the month of October 2019 and 8 artists submitted artwork to the Free-For-All!
Congratulations to the winner, Sarah, who submitted an Egyptian-inspired composition featuring Mafdet, the Egyptian goddess of judgement, justice, and execution. This digital illustration wowed the judges with its excellently composed composition, painted details, and overall concept.
Sarah will be selecting December 2019’s FaunaFocus which will be announced at the end of November 2019’s Free-For-All. Last month’s Free-For-All winner, H. McGill has selected the barn swallow for November 2019’s FaunaFocus!
Leopards are host to many common felid parasites, including lung flukes, flat worms, spirurian nematodes, hookworms, lung worms, intestinal and hepatic parasites, and parasitic protozoa.
Leopards are host to many common felid parasites, including lung flukes (Paragominus westermani), flat worms (Pseudophyllidea), spirurian nematodes (Spiruroidea), hookworms (Ancylostomatidae), lung worms (Aelurostrongylus), intestinal and hepatic parasites (Capillaria), and parasitic protozoa (Sarcocystis).
The holiday season is approaching and FaunaFocus wants to spread the cheer!
Throughout the months of November and December, FaunaFocus will be hosting a Holiday Art Trade and all are welcome to join! Surprise someone with an animal-themed artwork of their choice and receive an artwork yourself, “Secret Santa” style!
- Sign Up: Submit your information using the form below by Saturday, November 16th.
- Receive Email: On Sunday, November 17th, you’ll receive an email with the name of the person you’ll be creating artwork for and the animal to feature in the art. Please keep this information private until the artwork is complete.
- Create Art: Create artwork featuring the requested animal that abides by the rules.
- Give Art: Post the completed artwork to the FaunaFocus Discord Server in the #holiday-art-trade channel, tagging the person it was created for, any time before the deadline.
- Receive Art: Check the FaunaFocus Discord Server for the artwork created for you!
Traded artworks must abide by the following rules.
- Eligibility: All artists, media, and art forms are eligible.
- Theme: Artworks must feature the requested animal. If multiple animals were requested, only one is required.
- Originality: Artworks must be of original construction and must not copy another source or violate any copyrights.
- Tasteful Intent: Artworks should not have negative intentions or contain excessive gore, violence, nudity, profanity, etc.
- Anonymity: Don’t reveal the person you were assigned until the artwork is completed and posted.
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Wild leopards average 10-12 years, the oldest being 17 years, but captive leopards average 21-23 years, the oldest having lived 27 years.
Wild leopards may live to be 10 to 12 years old, with the oldest known individual being 17 years old.
In captivity, leopards can live to be 21 to 23 years old, with the oldest known individual being 27 years old.
Survival rates for cubs range from 41% to 50%.
Similar to other mammalian species, the home ranges of male leopards are larger and tend to overlap with those of multiple females.
Similar to other mammalian species, the home ranges of male leopards are larger and tend to overlap with those of multiple females. Home ranges also tend to be larger in arid conditions.
Male leopards have a core range of about 12 kilometers squared, with a home range of about 35 kilometers squared. Females have a core range of about 4 kilometers squared with a home range of about 13 kilometers squared.
In Namibia, the home ranges of males overlapped 46% of the time and those of females overlapped about 35% of the time.
Many of the leopard’s predator characteristics also serve as defense mechanisms, such as its spots that allow it to travel inconspicuously and avoid detection.
Many of the characteristics that make leopards great predators also serve as excellent predator defense mechanisms. For example, a leopard’s spots allows it to travel inconspicuously and avoid detection.
Leopards are economically important for humans as they can be seen in national parks throughout Asia and Africa.
Lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) compete with leopards for food. Leopards are economically important for humans as they can be seen in national parks throughout Asia and Africa.
Lions, tigers, spotted hyaenas, and African wild dogs compete with leopards for food and are capable of killing leopards.
Lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) compete with leopards for food. These species also prey upon leopard cubs and are capable of killing adult leopards. Typically, when an adult is killed it is due to a territorial confrontation.
When competition for larger prey items is high, leopards prey on smaller animals, which reduces interspecific competition. They also avoid attacks from potential predators by hunting at different times of the day and avoiding areas where potential predators are most populous.