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Forktail, the Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows are one of my favorite birds to watch as they fly over fields catching insects and really perform remarkable aerial acrobatics in the process. It always calming to watch and enjoy their flight for food.

Often, you will find Barn Swallows far away from any barns, which are a common place for them to build their homes, but not the only place! They will use many different kinds of human made structures to build their nests. We often see them nesting underneath the bridges of the forest preserves we visit. This is a very popular place for them because they like to dart over the water underneath to catch their meals.

The need for structure is an important one because of the way that Forktail builds his nest with mud and straw. This is an absolutely amazing video of how they build their nest step by step staring Forktail himself:

Isn’t that cool, what a feat of engineering and meticulous care!

I love the description that the Cornell Lab gives Barn Swallows:

Glistening cobalt blue above and tawny below… Look for the long, deeply forked tail that streams out behind this agile flyer and sets it apart from all other North American swallows.

Here is what we learned about Forktail:

Form 1, Grade 3 Student

Have you seen a Barn Swallow before?

Until next time, keep birding! <3 Kate

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