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 705,000 territories, and although they are still widely distributed their numbers saw a decline from the 1800s to 1995 (see BTO - BTO BirdFacts | Swallow).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. Swallow numbers in the UK have fluctuated over the last 30 years with pronounced regional variation in trends The swallow is classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). They are protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Related questions & advice

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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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