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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Barn Swallow

Afrikaans name: Europese swael

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.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 83

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 65

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 149

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 52

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 144

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 183

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 120

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 411

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 454

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 448

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 294

List of South African Birds

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