Fact File

Common name: Swallow, barn swallow

Scientific name: Hirundo rustica

Family: Hirundinidae

Habitat in the reserve:  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; we do not have appropriate nest sites in the reserve but swallows visit us from nearby nests to hunt insects.

Nutrition: Insectivorous: swallows feed on the wing, on flying insects.

Population: UK breeding population: 860,000 territories

Conservation status: UK conservation status: Green
Protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

DYK: British swallows spend their winter in South Africa. While migrating, swallows travel 200 miles a day, mainly, but not always, during daylight hours, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. Their maximum flight speed is 35 mph.

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