Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica

>> GENERAL >>>>>

– slightly smaller than a sparrow, slimmer and longer winged
– diurnal migrant
– migrates singly, or (more regularly) in small, rather loose flocks
– at roosts several hundreds to thousands may flock

>> VISUAL ID >>>>>


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, M AD
BIF0432, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– uniform shining black-blue upperside, wings duller
– prolonged outer rectrices (longer in M)


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, M AD
BIF0433, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– rusty red chin and upper throat together with the black band at the upper breast lead to a dark-headed impression
– underwing with creamy white coverts distinctly contrasting to dark remiges


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, M AD
BIF0434, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– more slender and elongated than martins
– from below the body including the undertail coverts off-white (black vent in Red-rumped Swallow)


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, 1CY
BIF0435, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– 1CY paler and duller overall, contrast between pale rusty throat and dark breast band more pronounced than in AD
– tail less forked because of the only slightly elongated outer rectrices


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, 1CY
BIF0504, 11/07/2010, Valencia, Spain, Mathias Putze
– when fanned out the white tail markings become visible


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, 1CY
BIF3107, 29/08/2018, Rostock, Germany, Roland Neumann
– older 1CY resemble AD F but tail streamers still shorter


Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica tytleri, AD F
BIF1963, 08/06/2016, Hatgal, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
– F with shorter tail streamers than M
– in Eastern ssp. tytleri body and underwing coverts are buffish to dull orange

>> ACOUSTIC ID >>>>>

– short, monosyllabic, steeply upslurred calls
– uttered singly or in series
– may also sing during (spring) migration
– differences between AD and JUV discernable with naked ears (AD like ‘tshet’, JUV more like ‘tshit’) – JUV calls usually less steep


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, AD, call in flight
BIF0436, 14/08/2008, Tenneloh, Germany, Patrick Franke


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, AD, JUV, call in flight
BIF2222, 26/07/2017, Krienke, Germany, Patrick Franke


Barn Swallow Hirundo r. rustica, AD, JUV, call in flight
BIF2223, 26/07/2017, Krienke, Germany, Patrick Franke


Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica tytleri, AD, call in flight
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, call
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta, excitement call
BIF2224, 08/06/2013, Tsagaan Nuur, Mongolia, Patrick Franke

>> COMPARISON SPECIES >>>>>

Red-rumped Swallow (v)
Common House Martin (v)
Sand Martin (v)
Eurasian Crag Martin (v)
Pale Crag Martin (v)
Brown-throated Martin (v)

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