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Birds in the Wild

Types of Swallow

Swallows are in the Hirundinidae family. They have sharply pointed, angled wings and forked tails. There are 75 different types of swallows worldwide. Eight of the seventy-five species can be found in the United States and Canada, which live in the northern hemisphere and migrate south for the winter. They fly around in large flocks, eating insects out of the air. A flock of swallows require about 6,000 bugs a day to survive. Some of the insects they eat include houseflies, bees, hoverflies, mayflies, bluebottles and sometimes moth caterpillars that hang from the trees. Swallows are territorial birds and usually return to the same nesting site each year. They build mud pellet nests on buildings’ eaves and other structures. They spend most of their time in flight looking for food.



African River Martin

Andean Swallow

Angola Swallow

Asian House Martin

Bahama Swallow

Banded Martin

Bank Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black-and-rufous Swallow

Black-capped Swallow

Black-collared Swallow

Black Rough-winged Swallow (Black Saw-wing)

Blue-and-white Swallow

Blue Swallow

Brown-bellied Swallow

Brown-chested Martin

Brown-throated Sand Martin

Caribbean Martin

Cave Swallow

Chestnut-collared Swallow

Chilean Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Congo Sand Martin

Crag Martin

Dusky Crag Martin

Ethiopian Swallow

Fairy Martin

Fanti Rough-winged Swallow

Forest Swallow

Galapagos Martin

Golden Swallow

Gray-breasted Martin

Greater Striped Swallow

Grey-rumped Swallow

House Martin

Lesser Striped Swallow

Mangrove Swallow

Nepal House Martin

Mosque Swallow

Mountain Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Pacific Swallow (Hill Swallow)

Pale-footed Swallow

Pearl-breasted Swallow

Peruvian Martin

Pied-winged Swallow

Preuss's Swallow

Purple Martin

Red-chested Swallow

Red-rumped Swallow

Red Sea Swallow

Red-throated Swallow

Rock Martin

Rufous-chested Swallow

Sand Martin

Sinaloa Martin

South African Swallow

Southern Martin

Southern Rough-winged Swallow

Square-tailed Sawwing

Streak-throated Swallow

Striated Swallow

Tawny-headed Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Martin

Tumbes Swallow

Violet-green Swallow

Welcome Swallow

White-backed Swallow

White-banded Swallow

White-eyed River Martin

White-headed Saw-wing

White-rumped Swallow

White-tailed Swallow

White-thighed Swallow

White-throated Blue Swallow

White-throated Swallow

White-winged Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow


Video clip of a large flock of swallows




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