adult; no sexual dimorphism (California, USA; 2007-09-16)

Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica

Native Range: Worldwide

Notes: a slim, graceful, agile flyer that captures insects on the wing; nest design varies greatly among swallow species, more so than in any other avian family; Barn Swallow constructs an open-cup nest mostly made from mud gathered at streambanks; females have been shown to choose mates based in part on symmetry of the male's tail feathers.

deeply forked tail, here with feathers spread (California, USA; 2007-05-13)

this individual has asymmetrical tail feathers (California, USA; 2007-05-13)

buffy underparts; small weak feet (California, USA; 2007-09-16)

adult with nestling in open-cup mud nest (Canada; 2006-07-23)
eggs in open-cup mud nest lined with feathers (Spain; 2006-06-10)
some birds in Europe are light-colored underneath (Spain; 2006-06-10)

a light-colored specimen (Spain; 2006-06-10)

blue-black back, nape, crown; chestnut throat, brow (Spain; 2006-06-10)

some birds have more deeply forked tails than others (Spain; 2006-06-10)

showing off his anisodactyl foot (Poland; 2012-06-01)

dorsal view (Poland; 2012-06-01)

mostly dorsal view (Poland; 2012-06-01)

ventral view; uropean birds are quite pale below (Poland; 2012-06-01)

posing for a head portrait (Poland; 2012-06-01)