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Banker, the Bank Swallow

In Burgess’ classic The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Chapter 22 finds Peter Rabbit surprised as he sees a bird sticking his head out of a hole made in the river bank. At this point in his journey, Peter has just spoken with Rattles the Kingfisher, who is another bird who makes its nest in banks. But as Burgess points out, Banker is more like Twitter the Purple Martin than Rattles because he is fond of society. Bank Swallows live in very close proximity to one another. Wouldn’t it be amazing to find their homes like Peter Rabbit did?

Here is an amazing video of a colony of Bank Swallows:

Canadian Bank Swallows

Here you can also clearly see the difference in these Swallows. Burgess describes them like this:

In the first place Banker was a little smaller than Skimmer (Tree Swallow). Then too, he was not nearly so handsome. His back, instead of being that beautiful rich steel-blue which makes Skimmer so handsome, was sober grayish-brown. He was a little darker on his wings and tail. His breast, instead of being all snowy white, was crossed with a brownish band. His tail was more nearly square across the end than is the case with other members of the Swallow family.

Burgess, The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Living Books Press Edition, p.110

Swallows are always such a pleasure to watch when you find them in the field or bank. They zip around in aerial acrobatics catching insects for their meal. Bank Swallows are often found in mixed company as well, which we have seen for ourselves, as they zip around alongside other types of Swallows. There is a preserve close to us where we have seen this to be the case, and honestly I get lost in time when I watch them flying.

Here is the rest of what we gathered:

Until next time, keep birding! <3 Kate

More Burgess Birds in Detail

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