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Barn Swallow

Afrikaans name: Europese swael

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A flock of Barn Swallows

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Barn Swallow on a barbed wire fence

Photo © Steven Herbert

Hirundo rustica

The Barn Swallow is a common and widespread swallow. It is found in South and North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. It used to be called the European Swallow in South Africa.

This migrant bird has a wingspan of just over 30 cm and weighs around 20 grams.

The Barn Swallow mainly feeds on insects that it catches in flight. It does occasionally take food off the ground.

In our South African winter they return to Europe to breed. They make a nest out of mud and it is normally placed under the roof over hang of a building. They may lay up to 7 eggs.

Mount Moreland, just north of Durban, is a great place to see these birds before they migrate back to Europe.

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