Monday, 8 August 2016

Swallows, Hirundo rustica.

Hello again

Two posts in  quick succession! I've cross posted this one from the FEET private members blog. I though it was too nice to leave just there.

This a post of some nice, small birds. They are Swallows, Hirundo rustica, They are a joy to watch in the air, they cheer me up with their acrobatic flight and consonant chattering song. We have a lot of them around our street. A couple of days back, they seemed to be making more noise than ever. I went to out to see what was happening. We had a family of juvenile swallows on the telephone wire that supplies our house. They were lined up to be fed by their hard-working parents. It was a great chance for some photos. Below are the results.

As you can see, they have not fully developed the red patch under their bills. They are found across the world and breed on all the continents except Antarctica

British swallows spend their winter in South Africa: they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, and other European swallows travel further east and down the Nile Valley. Swallows put on very little weight before migrating.

They migrate during day at low altitudes and find food on the way. Despite accumulating some fat reserves before crossing large areas such as the Sahara Desert, they are vulnerable to starvation during these crossings. Migration is a hazardous time and many birds die from starvation, exhaustion and in storms. Migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour.

Food: Mainly insects taken on the wing.
Speed: The maximum flight speed is 35 mph.
Body length: 30 cm.
Clutch size: 4 – 5 on average (Temperate areas population) and  2 – 3 on average (Tropics population).

I had to put the one below on first, I think it's so cute. It looks as if one is telling the other something, and the second one is listening.

The photo above had to go on last, for obvious reasons.

A sort, but nice little post I think.