Stealth bombers take a big bite out of bugs
Barn swallow population on the decrease
Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 06:00 am
Small swallow with steel blue back, wings and tail, tawny underside, orangy throat, long, deeply-forked tail with long streamers on the outer edges visible in flight, long pointed wings, broad shoulders and no apparent neck.
Chasing bugs at Mach 10 over fields and waterways, especially at the John E. Poole interpretive wetland.
Occasionally confused with:
Tree swallows, which nest in trees and are blue above and white below; cliff swallows, which are brown and white and prefer bridges; bank swallows, which prefer banks. The barn swallow is the only swallow here with long streamers on the outside of its tail in flight.
Legend has it that the barn swallow got its forked tail after it stole fire from the gods for humanity. An angry deity hurled a firebrand at it and singed its middle tail feathers, giving it its distinct look.