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Cliff Swallows

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
Close to BSB Nature preserve: cliff swallows and their colony at a cliff at Medina River Texas, protected by Bear Springs Blossom nature conservation
Cliff Swallow nests - colony at Medina River, TX
Swallows are beautiful and important insect eaters!

Can you imagine 83 swallow species?
That's how many different swallows exist on Earth.
Scientists have put them in the family Hirundinidae
characterized by their aerial feeding.
Swallows eat while flying!
cliff swallow shape, the typical form or shape of a swallow in flight feeding, nesting of cliff swallows Swallows love to live in colonies.
Cliff swallows lay 3-6 eggs. Their nests are made of mud and look gourd-shaped. Often we can see several hundred or thousand in a single location. Birders counted 3700 nests in one colony!
The nests are lined inside with grass to hold the mud pallets together.
Three-thousand-seven hundred humans together would be a nice town..
With the swallows it is a well working town, very social. Cliff Swallows help each other when food is scarce. Swallows will inform their neighbors in the nesting colony where to find food. When a swallow finds an insect swarm, it gives a specific call that alerts other Cliff Swallows that food is available.
cliff swallow resting on a branch looking for insect food Now imagine - a big colony and many young swallow nestlings leave their nest. These young swallows congregate in large groups called creches.
Now the parents see a huge number of nestlings:
Which one to feed?
The parents find their own young in the creche primarily by voice.
As in humans every young swallow has a different voice.
Additionally parents can identify their children by their variable juvenal plumages. There are very distinctive facial markings on every chick.

Swallows flying around their colony, eating insects, feeding young swallow nestlings
Cliff Swallow - Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

What does an adult cliff swallow look like:
It is small and long-winged
It has a small bill
Its wings are long and pointed
It has a dark throat
It has a square tail
Its rump is pale

Swallows live only during the summer months in the US. In winter you can find the North American swallows in South America, many in Argentina. It is a very long flight for such a small bird that only weighs about 6 ounces.

cliff on the Medina river with several colonies of cliff swallows, clean water is important for swallow survival

Click here to see a video clip about Cliff Swallows


What can YOU do?
You can cut down on your pesticide use. Pesticides kill insects immediately, bigger animals are negatively affected by human made chemicals, and humans often get sick while coming in contact with pesticides.

All Our birds need our help
A) to survive all the threats:
B) industrial agriculture
C) toxic chemicals
D) deforestation
E) urban sprawl
F) more violent weather

HELP: Every person can make a difference!


Contact us - learn to understand Nature!

Become an expert - become a BSB Master Conservationist!

What else can you do?

Become a member of Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation and help us to protect birds!
You will get free advice and information.

Think about how wonderful our Earth was created...

Live in Harmony with Nature + learn to understand Nature!

Cliff swallows eat a lot of insects!

Having cliff swallows is much better than using pesticides
Nature always provides balance to all life on Earth.
How can we get humans to learn and understand?
Mother Nature has a great plan - humans just have learned a few bits of it.

Read why people who believe in God should protect HIS creation!
Learn how to Live in harmony with Nature - how Nature works - why we need Nature


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