Thursday, October 27, 2016

Barn Swallows on the Oregon-Washington Coast

There are several birds that I see often but have a hard time capturing in a photograph. The Steller's Jays in the last post are an example. Today we visit with another, the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). They are common around the irrigation canals around my home, and they are indeed abundant all over the country (in summer; in winter they are found all over South America). But they don't stay still! They swoop and soar all over the place, and only occasionally stop to rest.
I finally caught a few taking a break during my summer vacation along the Pacific Northwest coast. Several were perched on the roof of a house in Florence, Oregon, and a few days later I found another building a nest in the eaves of the restaurant at Kalaloch Resort on the coast of Washington in Olympic National Park.
The birds are great aerial acrobats, chasing myriad numbers of bugs in the air. Their flying ability also shows in their extensive migrations from South America to North America and back again. They are also adaptable. They once built nests primarily in caves, but fewer do so now. They've taken over eaves and bridges wherever humans develop a landscape.

They are beautiful colorful birds, at least when they sit still long enough for you to get a good look!

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