Swallow collecting mud by Nick Appleton 1/10
Swallow by Nick Goodrum 2/10
Swallow by Lawrie Webb 3/10
Swallow by Julian Thomas 4/10
Swallow fledgling being fed by adult by Elizabeth Dack 5/10
Juvenile swallows by Kevin Woolner 6/10
Swallow by Pauline Greenwood 7/10
Swallow by David Thacker 8/10
Swallow in flight by Elizabeth Dack 9/10
Swallow by David Rose 10/10

Swallow Hirundo rustica

This migratory bird has a glossy blue/black plumage and a deeply forked tail, and is a common sight in Norfolk through spring and summer. The swallow is also a much welcomed bird, as it is commonly thought of as a forerunner of spring.

Conservation status

The UK swallow population is estimated as something in the region of 375,000 pairs, and although they are still widely distributed their numbers are in overall decline. The main reason for this is believed to be deterioration in the quality of feeding habitat in both their breeding and wintering grounds. Another factor is diminishing availability of suitable nesting sites as farms are modernized and other ramshackle buildings are renovated or demolished. The swallow is now an Amber List species which means it is of medium conservation concern and has a population or range that has declined moderately in recent years.

Related questions & advice

How can I get involved in monitoring bird populations?


Did you know?

Swallows will sometimes occupy the same nesting sites for several years. At one site in Norfolk the accumulated material reached a height of over 30cm.

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