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Barn Swallows - Splendor in the Back Yard

Pretty -- and they eat a lot of mosquitoes, too!
© Jutta Geisler G-Graphic Solutions View Large

This lovely creature is a Barn Swallow - notice the rich colors! A genuine master of the air, the swallow swoops low along the ground at high speed, changing direction in the blink of an eye. This prodigy has flown all the way from South America, to offer - without fee - its services as a prolific collector of flying insects, which it vacuums from the air. The Barn Swallow is a common summer visitor.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Barn Swallows - Splendor in the Back Yard

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Barn Swallows]

One sunny day in May you spy, perched on a fencepost outside, one of the most exquisite birds you’ve ever seen. Its back is a deep, lustrous blue. It turns its head, and you see its face is a rich mahogany with what looks like a blue mask over its eyes. This glamorous specimen, the size of a sparrow, is unusually slender, with long, pointed wings. A final exotic touch: the outer tail-feathers are long and elegant, not unlike those of a swallow-tailed butterfly.

[Barn Swallow rapid song]

Your graceful visitor appears a genuine master of the air, swooping low along the ground at high speed, changing direction in the blink of an eye. She has come all the way from South America, feeding on flying insects as she flew. If you’re lucky, she may build a nest of mud under the eaves of your shed.

[Barn Swallow rapid song]

This marvelous creature is... a Barn Swallow. If it were rare, people would come from many miles away to admire its beauty and grace. But in truth, the Barn Swallow is a common summer visitor here in North America and in Europe and Asia, too. Aren’t we lucky!

[Barn Swallow rapid song]

Sounds of the birds featured today on BirdNote come from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Barn Swallows recorded by G.A. Keller [105655] and R.S. Little [106593].
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Managing Producer: Jason Saul

Editor: Ashley Ahearn

Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone

Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill

Narrator: Mary McCann

© 2019 BirdNote   May 2019

ID#    051707BARS3KPLU         BARS-03c

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