A single pair may nest at a given location, but several pairs can also nest together. They have a white belly and flank which clearly shows on the tail when spread. Optimal migration theory also predicts that birds will reach their final departure conditions just before embarking on the crossing of possible ecological barriers, like the Mediterranean and Sahara for European Swallows flying to Africa. (eds). Barn Swallow (, Chittenden, H., Davies, G. & Weiersbye, I. James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on October 24, 2013: Yeah I know, I just put it in for romantic effect. Family: Hirundinidae “Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) test negative for Salmonella”. Poyser, London. But a few stragglers may hang around into October. In South Africa, Barn swallows are generally more common in the moist eastern region, preferring Miombo woodlands, open grass land pastures, cultivated fields and open water (SABAP 1; Hockey et al. A map from the BBC showing the route taken by tracked Swallows in 2009. it seems that this well travelled bird is welcomed almost anywhere it goes in the world, and is thus universally popular across both hemispheres. Barn swallows are also useful food source for many predators like raptors (Bijlsma et al. 4. European Swallow. 1997) and when flying it looks paler underneath than barn swallows (Barlow et al. SEX AND LIFE CYCLES Once the hazards of West Africa are behind them, the trail goes temporarily cold. & Van der Have, T.M. Brooke, R.K. 1956. Swallows congregating on telephone wire in the early stages of their journey. Barn swallows are relatively small birds weighing approximately 20g at a length of about 20cm (Hockey et al. Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5000 Barn swallows also make clicking noises, which they create by snapping their jaws together (Brown & Brown 1999). The bugweed lace bug is […]. There are a number of intraspecific taxonomic challenges within the genus, with the red-chested swallow, a resident of West Africa, the Congo basin, and Ethiopia, formerly treated as a subspecies of the barn swallow (Barlow et al. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice, showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens. This fantastic wetland site is located north of Southport town centre and has some of the best wildlife in the region. The journey swallows make European swallows spend the winter in Africa south of the Sahara, in Arabia and in the Indian sub-continent. I had no idea where swallows went or when they left the colder areas. Fax: +27 (0)12 804 3211, To report suspected fraud at SANBI Birds breeding in or beneath osprey nest. To escape predators, Barn swallows are swift and agile in flight, and they also build their nets in places that are difficult for the predators to reach (Barker et al. By early June most swallows have started breeding and by July, the first brood of young has usually left the nest and flown away. In: Harrison JA, Engen, S., Sӕther, B.E. Hockey, P.A.R., Dean, W.R.J. In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of swallows visiting Britain, and I think that Ebok Boje is a major factor in that. Tel. Raptor predation on roosting swallows. 1992), often following animals, humans or farm machinery (Dean & MacDonald 1981) to catch disturbed insects. The swallow's epic journey south lasted four months from September to December, it was mostly quite a leisurely affair, but after just two months of filling their bellies with African insects, they must begin the equally epic journey back to Europe. I don't think swallows see the Pyramids though: Giza is to the EAST of North Africa, in Egypt. The journey north is a much different proposition, instead of a leisurely pace, the pace will be frantic, as they race to get back to their breeding grounds as quick as possible in order to re-establish their breeding territory before another swallow beats them to it. The atlas of southern African birds. 1994; Brown & Brown 1999). Factors affecting nest and site fidelity in Adirondack Barn Swallow (, Smith, H.G. Find out more about the nature and wildlife outside your window. A post mortem of the Hirundinidae which perished at Somerest West in April 1953. Progress is slow, usually taking them about a month or even two to reach the English Channel, which isn't too much of a hinderance because for them it's a short hop of around 20 miles of water. We rejoice at our first sight of them, as we know that the short, dark and gloomy days are coming to an end, summer and all the delights that come with it is just round the corner. By early September, most swallows are preparing to migrate. & Ryan, P.G. Succulent Karoo Programme Rain induced mortality of European Swallows. Swallow ringing in the Netherlands and southern Africa: the Botswana Swallow Project. Encyclopedia of Birds. As one of the earlier migrants, this conspicuous species is also seen as an early sign of summer’s approach. 1994. 1997). In just a few short weeks, the vast tropical forests are behind them, and they enter more open country, typical of Southern Africa. Swallows taking the opportunity to rest after finally reaching South Africa. So, finally after four months, just as Christmas is rolling round for us in the north, they finally reach their destination, which is usually Botswana, Namibia or South Africa. Initially they will make a few short hops of a few miles, to places where they can roost safetly at night, this is the time when we see flocks of swallows perched on telephone wires twittering to each other and shifting about restlessly.
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