Birds of Quivira – The Swallows

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow

This warm season, including this spring at Quivira, I finally took some time to get to know the Swallows a little better, not only in visual description, but in song, behavior and flight.  Other than their beauty, I find the Barn Swallows to be the most gracefully designed and beautiful fliers of their kind.  With their long, forked tail and sleek and slender wings, I am sure they could beat any other swallow in a dogfight.  It’s a simple pleasure to watch them swoop down, mere inches above a field to catch an insect on the wing, to then see them rise a few hundred feet while banking and rolling.  Their varied and constant chatter ranks among my favorites as well.

Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow

Pete Dunne most appropriately describes the Cliff Swallow as a “…husky crop-tailed Barn Swallow wearing a miner’s lamp.”  Another gorgeous swallow, this species is very communal and will often nest in the hundreds or thousands together, making gourd-shaped nests out of mud.  The image below shows a few birds collecting mud on the banks of a stream that runs through Quivira.

Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow



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