passer sparrow, small bird
form, kind, species
La. hirundo a
Gr. petros a rock
Gr. khelidon a
Gr. purhos red,
Gr. noton the back
Gr. -notos backed
|Six inches long. Dark blue, almost black
head, back, wings, and slightly forked tail. Cream-white forehead and ring neck. Gray
breast, white underside, light chestnut rump. Richer, more reddish brown throat than that
of the Barn Swallow.
Found throughout most of North America
from Alaska to the southern edges of Hudson Bay, southern Quebec and Newfoundland,
throughout the States excluding the Southeast from the Carolinas to southern Louisiana.
Winters in the tropics.
Builds gourd shaped enclosures with small entrance holes out of mud
pellets and lined with grass, straw and feathers on, in colonies of sometimes fifty or
several hundred on cliff, wall or beam faces, under bridges often above water or under out
Flocks return to the same colonies year after year,
disappear for a few years, then return for a few more.
Lays three to
six spotted white eggs, which hatch after about two weeks incubation and
young leave the nest in about another three weeks.
Catches flying insects and skims insects off the surface of ponds.
Dives at intruders near their nests snapping their
beak as when they catch insects and pulling up before colliding. Gather
in large flocks before fall migration.
Swallow Ledge has an approximately 1" by 6" base, approximately a 6" ceiling, an open front and partially open
Mount a platform high inside an open barn or shed for
Barn Swallows or on the side of a garage, or porch under open shelter or an eave for Barn
or Cliff Swallows. Do not mount in a tree. Make sure objects that cats and squirrels can
climb do not provide access to the nest.
Robins, Phoebes and Song Sparrows may use this nest.
Dimensions of this platform are recommended for Barn and Cliff Swallows by several
sources and efforts to attract them with platforms or modified structures have worked.
Honestly though, chances are if Cliff or Barn Swallows are going to build a nest in a barn
or under an eave or bridge, they can do so just fine without help. Insects and water are
probably greater factors.
Most often they attach their nest to the side of a wall under an eave or a bridge beam,
not on a shelf. A roof without a shelf or a very narrow shelf may be better.