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Barn Swallow | Hirundo rustica

The Barn Swallow is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Hirundinidae bird family group which includes birds such as Hirundinidae.

The description for the Barn Swallow (Latin name Hirundo rustica) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Hirundo rustica can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 518 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 748. You will find a picture of the Barn Swallow on page 816.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as European Swallow in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Barn Swallow between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Barn Swallow is known in Afrikaans as Europese Swael.

The Barn Swallow has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 18 gms. The head is coloured chestnut while the bill is coloured black. The Hirundo rustica has a black, brown coloured throat, black legs and a chestnut coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is chestnut

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black, brown

Back is chestnut

Feeding Habits ...

The Hirundo rustica attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Barn Swallow is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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