Hi Everybody!!

Hi Everybody!!
Welcome to my Hometown!!

Friday, May 2, 2014


Hi Everybody!!
I do not know where the migrant songbirds are, but I found you a migrant barn swallow with nest and babies at the Hardware Store in Hempstead. These birds do not live at the Bird Sanctuary because I have too many trees and thick woods. These birds do live close to humans, but prefer meadows for hunting their insects. As you will notice, this bird built the nest on a light structure by the Hardware Store door. They also like barns and porches. For this reason, some humans do not like them as they do not want the nests on their stuff. These swallows eat mosquitoes, so I love them! I have shared info from Wikipedia below and the photos. Catching the adult bird at the nest was the most difficult as they are super fast. Please enjoy these birds and learn to live with them!


Barn Swallow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species ofswallow in the world.[2] It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts, a long, deeply forked tail and curved, pointed wings. It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.[2] In Anglophone Europe it is just called the Swallow; in Northern Europe it is the only common species called a "swallow" rather than a "martin".[3]
There are six subspecies of Barn Swallow, which breed across theNorthern Hemisphere. Four are strongly migratory, and their wintering grounds cover much of the Southern Hemisphere as far south as centralArgentina, the Cape Province of South Africa, and northern Australia.[2]Its huge range means that the Barn Swallow is not endangered, although there may be local population declines due to specific threats.
The Barn Swallow is a bird of open country which normally uses man-made structures to breed and consequently has spread with human expansion. It builds a cup nest from mud pellets in barns or similar structures and feeds on insects caught in flight.[4] This species lives in close association with humans, and its insect-eating habits mean that it is tolerated by man; this acceptance was reinforced in the past by superstitions regarding the bird and its nest. There are frequent cultural references to the Barn Swallow in literary and religious works due to both its living in close proximity to humans and its annual migration.[5] The Barn Swallow is the national bird of Austria and Estonia.
Barn Swallow
European subspecies,
H. r. rustica in Denmark
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Species:H. rustica
Binomial name
Hirundo rustica
Range of H. rustica     Breeding range     Resident year-round     Non-breeding range


Habitat and range[edit]

The preferred habitat of the Barn Swallow is open country with low vegetation, such as pasture, meadows and farmland, preferably with nearby water. This swallow avoids heavily wooded or precipitous areas and densely built-up locations. The presence of accessible open structures such as barns, stables, or culverts to provide nesting sites, and exposed locations such as wires, roof ridges or bare branches for perching, are also important in the bird's selection of its breeding range.[4]
It breeds in the Northern Hemisphere from sea level to typically 2,700 m (8,900 ft),[25] but to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in theCaucasus[4] and North America,[26] and it is absent only from deserts and the cold northernmost parts of the continents. Over much of its range, it avoids towns, and in Europe is replaced in urban areas by the House Martin. However, in Honshū, the Barn Swallow is a more urban bird, with the Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) replacing it as the rural species.[2]
In winter, the Barn Swallow is cosmopolitan in its choice of habitat, avoiding only dense forests and deserts.[27] It is most common in open, low vegetation habitats, such as savanna and ranch land, and in Venezuela, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago it is described as being particularly attracted to burnt or harvested sugarcane fields and the waste from the cane.[7][28][29] In the absence of suitable roost sites, they may sometimes roost on wires where they are more exposed to predators.[30] Individual birds tend to return to the same wintering locality each year[31] and congregate from a large area toroost in reed beds.[28] These roosts can be extremely large, one in Nigeria had an estimated 1.5 million birds.[32] These roosts are thought to be a protection from predators, and the arrival of roosting birds is synchronised in order to overwhelm predators like African Hobbies. The Barn Swallow has been recorded as breeding in the more temperate parts of its winter range, such as the mountains of Thailand and in central Argentina.[2][33]
Migration of Barn Swallows between Britain and South Africa was first established on 23 December 1912 when a bird that had been ringed by James Masefield at a nest in Staffordshire, was found in Natal.[34] As would be expected for a long-distance migrant, this bird has occurred as a vagrant to such distant areas as Hawaii, Bermuda, Greenland, Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands.[2]


Chicks in the nest waiting for being fed
The Barn Swallow is similar in its habits to other aerial insectivores, including other swallow species and the unrelated swifts. It is not a particularly fast flier, with a speed estimated at about 11 m/s, up to 20 m/s and a wing beat rate of approximately 5, up to 7–9 times each second,[35][36] but it has the manoeuvrability necessary to feed on flying insects while airborne. It is often seen flying relatively low in open or semi-open areas.
The Barn Swallow typically feeds 7–8 m (23–26 ft) above shallow water or the ground, often following animals, humans or farm machinery to catch disturbed insects, but it will occasionally pick prey items from the water surface, walls and plants. In the breeding areas, large flies make up around 70% of the diet, with aphidsalso a significant component. However, in Europe, the Barn Swallow consumes fewer aphids than the House or Sand Martins.[4] On the wintering grounds, Hymenoptera, especially flying ants, are important food items. When egg-laying, Barn Swallows hunt in pairs, but will form often large flocks otherwise.[2]
Isotope studies have shown that wintering populations may utilise different feeding habitats, with British breeders feeding mostly over grassland, whereas Swiss birds utilised woodland more.[37] Another study showed that a single population breeding in Denmark actually wintered in two separate and different areas.[38]
The Barn Swallow drinks by skimming low over lakes or rivers and scooping up water with its open mouth.[26] This bird bathes in a similar fashion, dipping into the water for an instant while in flight.[31]
Swallows gather in communal roosts after breeding, sometimes thousands strong. Reed beds are regularly favoured, with the birds swirling en masse before swooping low over the reeds.[6] Reed beds are an important source of food prior to and whilst on migration; although the Barn Swallow is a diurnal migrant which can feed on the wing whilst it travels low over ground or water, the reed beds enable fat deposits to be established or replenished.[39]



Juvenile in England
The male Barn Swallow returns to the breeding grounds before the females and selects a nest site, which is then advertised to females with a circling flight and song. The breeding success of the male is related to the length of the tail streamers, with longer streamers being more attractive to the female.[4][40] Males with longer tail feathers are generally longer-lived and more disease resistant, females thus gaining an indirect fitness benefit from this form of selection, since longer tail feathers indicate a genetically stronger individual which will produce offspring with enhanced vitality.[41] Males in northern Europe have longer tails than those further south; whereas in Spain the male's tail streamers are only 5% longer than the female's, in Finland the difference is 20%. In Denmark, the average male tail length increased by 9% between 1984 and 2004, but it is possible that climatic changes may lead in the future to shorter tails if summers become hot and dry.[42]
Males with long streamers also have larger white tail spots, and since feather-eatingbird lice prefer white feathers, large white tail spots without parasite damage again demonstrate breeding quality; there is a positive association between spot size and the number of offspring produced each season.[43]
Both sexes defend the nest, but the male is particularly aggressive and territorial.[2]Once established, pairs stay together to breed for life, but extra-pair copulation is common, making this species genetically polygamous, despite being sociallymonogamous.[44] Males guard females actively to avoid being cuckolded.[45] Males may use deceptive alarm calls to disrupt extrapair copulation attempts toward their mates.[46]
As its name implies, the Barn Swallow typically nests inside accessible buildings such as barns and stables, or under bridges and wharves. The neat cup-shaped nest is placed on a beam or against a suitable vertical projection. It is constructed by both sexes, although more often by the female, with mud pellets collected in their beaks and lined with grasses, feathers, algae[47] or other soft materials.[2] Barn Swallows may nest colonially where sufficient high-quality nest sites are available, and within a colony, each pair defends a territory around the nest which, for the European subspecies, is 4 to 8 m2 (43 to 86 sq ft) in size. Colony size tends to be larger in North America.[26]
In North America at least, Barn Swallows frequently engage in a mutualist relationship with Ospreys. Barn Swallows will build their nest below an Osprey nest, receiving protection from other birds of prey which are repelled by the exclusively fish-eating Ospreys. The Ospreys are alerted to the presence of these predators by the alarm calls of the swallows.[26]
Before man-made sites became common, the Barn Swallow nested on cliff faces or in caves, but this is now rare. The female lays two to seven, but typically four or five, reddish-spotted white eggs. The eggs are 20 mm × 14 mm (0.79 in × 0.55 in) in size, and weigh 1.9 g (0.067 oz), of which 5% is shell. In Europe, the female does almost all the incubation, but in North America the male may incubate up to 25% of the time. The incubation period is normally 14–19 days, with another 18–23 days before the altricial chicks fledge. The fledged young stay with, and are fed by, the parents for about a week after leaving the nest. Occasionally, first-year birds from the first brood will assist in feeding the second brood.[2]
The Barn Swallow will mob intruders such as cats or accipiters that venture too close to their nest, often flying very close to the threat.[41] Adult Barn Swallows have few predators, but some are taken by accipiters, falcons, and owlsBrood parasitismby cowbirds in North America or cuckoos in Eurasia is rare.[4][26]
There are normally two broods, with the original nest being reused for the second brood and being repaired and reused in subsequent years. Hatching success is 90% and the fledging survival rate is 70–90%. Average mortality is 70–80% in the first year and 40–70% for the adult. Although the record age is more than 11 years, most survive less than four years.[2]Barn Swallow nestlings have prominent red gapes, a feature shown to induce feeding by parent birds. An experiment in manipulating brood size and immune system showed the vividness of the gape was positively correlated with T-cell–mediated immunocompetence, and that larger brood size and injection with an antigen led to a less vivid gape.[48]
The Barn Swallow has been recorded as hybridising with the Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the Cave Swallow(P. fulva) in North America, and the House Martin (Delichon urbicum) in Eurasia, the cross with the latter being one of the most common passerine hybrids.[41]

Relationship with humans[edit]

A male
The Barn Swallow is an attractive bird which feeds on flying insects and has therefore been tolerated by humans when it shares their buildings for nesting. As one of the earlier migrants, this conspicuous species is also seen as an early sign of summer's approach.[56]
In the Old World, the Barn Swallow appears to have used man-made structures and bridges since time immemorial. An early reference is in Virgil's Georgics (29 BC) ... garrula quam tignis nidum suspendat hirundo (... the twittering swallow hangs its nest from the rafters).[57]
It is believed that the Barn Swallow began attaching its nest to Native American habitations in the early 19th century, and the subsequent spread of settlement across North America is thought to have resulted in a dramatic population expansion of the species across the continent.[24]

File:BarnSwallow cajay.jpg

H. r. erythrogaster in Washington State, USA

...this is brendsue signing off from Rainbow Creek.  See You next time! Get some good rest as it is time to snooze!!  Sweet Dreams~