Swallow Hirundo rustica

Swallows are common summer visitors, arriving in April and leaving in October. They build mud and straw nests on ledges, often in farm buildings and outhouses or under the eaves of houses. Swallows are widespread and common birds of farmland and open pasture near water. They are agile fliers, feeding on flying insects while on the wing. Before they migrate back to their wintering grounds in Africa they can be seen gathering to roost in wetlands, particularly reedbeds.


Swallows are glossy, dark blue-black above, white below with a dark red forehead and throat and a black band across the chest. The forked tail is very long. Often spotted perching on wires in small numbers.


Length: 19-22cm Wingspan: 34cm Weight: 19g Average Lifespan: 2 years


Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.



When to see

April – October


In North America and Europe, this bird is often referred to as the barn swallow

Common name


Species name

Hirundo rustica

When to see in Scotland

April – October

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