Barn Swallow

1/80s at f8, ISO:400, Canon Mark II 1Ds w/600mm, 2x converter

The Barn Swallow is the most widespread species of swallows in the world. It is a bird of open country, which normally uses man-made structures to breed and consequently has spread with human expansion. It builds a cup nest from mud pellets in barns or similar structures and feeds on insects caught in flight. The female lays two to seven, but typically four or five, reddish-spotted white eggs. The incubation period is normally 14 to 19 days; with another 18 to 23 days before the chicks fledge. The fledged young stay with, and are fed by, the parents for about a week after leaving the nest. Occasionally, first-year birds from the first brood will assist in feeding the second brood. This species lives in close association with humans, and its insect-eating habits mean that it is tolerated by man. The Barn Swallow drinks by skimming low over lakes or rivers and scooping up water with its open mouth. This bird bathes in a similar fashion, dipping into the water for an instant while in flight. The Barn Swallow winters in places like Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago.
Medicine Creek, NE