|Species: Tree Swallow
The Tree Swallow is a common sight in open fields, meadows, marshes,
ponds, lakeshores and other wetland areas where it uses its aerial
acrobatics to feed on the wing.
It is especially adapted to its incredible aerial life by being
slender and sleek.
Tree Swallows breed north to Alaska, across Canada, south and across
the mid United States to North Carolina.
is a broad winged swallow with smooth flowing flight having pointed
wings and forked tail with short legs and small week feet. 15 cm
long, 20g weight.
Dark glossy greenish-blue above, white below. White cheek patch
which does not extend above the eye.
Same as Adult Male
Brown above, white below with dusky wash across chest.
Shows varying amount of adult colour on crown and back.
Juveniles could be confused with Bank Swallow which has a much
darker and defined breast band. Violet Green Swallow adults have
white flank patch and white above and behind the eye.
Watch the Tree Swallow darting, gliding and using abrupt turns
feeding in flight from dawn till dusk on insects. And observe them
perched in flocks in long rows on branches and wires.
Open areas usually near water, including fields, marshes, shorelines
and wooded swamps with standing dead trees.
Tree Swallows gather in large roosts at night. They are diurnal
migrants flying low to very high in loose flocks.
Unlike other swallows, this species can subsist for extended periods
on seeds and berries allowing some coastal populations to winter as
far north as Long Island.
A hole nester, the Tree Swallow depends on woodpeckers and other
species that excavate and abandon cavities in dead trees, and to a
lesser extend on nest boxes, which it accepts readily to lay 4-6
Over the past 25 years populations have increased in eastern and
central regions and across the continent. However, Tree Swallows are
vulnerable to habitat destruction and pollution in wintering and
Although the most plentiful swallow around the banding
station and breeding in the direct vicinity, as an aerial
insectivore, Tree Swallows are difficult to capture as is
reflected by generally low capture rates (2010-2012;
standardized as birds captured per 100 net hours). Capture
rates do indicate however Tree Swallow presence from March
through July and peaks in June as juveniles disperse. No
captures from August to February reflect this long distant
migrant's movement south during the winter months.