Just the Facts: Barn Swallows

Typical Mud Swallow Nest. Credit.

AKA: Mud Swallows. Close relatives: Purple Martin, Cliff Swallow, Tree Swallow
Scientific Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Passeriformes, Hirundinidae; Hirundo; H. rustica.

Bird Size & Markings: Adult Barn Swallows are about 7” long, stand 4” high and
have a 13” wingspan. They weigh less than 1 ounce. Males have metallic blue back, wings, and tail with rufous to tawny underside. The blue crown and face is contrasted with the cinnamon forehead and throat. Females are not as brightly colored.

Habitat: You can find Barn Swallows feeding in open habitats such as fields, parks, marshes, meadows, ponds, and coastal waters. Their nests are often easy to spot under protected overhangs.

Nesting/Dens: Barn Swallows lay 3 to 7 eggs in each brood and can hatch broods
twice a year. Brood fledge in about 2 weeks. Both sexes construct the nest of mud pellets. If attached to a wall or beam, the nest is half-cup shaped. If on top of a surface, the nest forms a perfect small cup about 3” wide. Nest sites are almost exclusively attached to man made structures with overhead protection; roof eaves, the underside of bridges, inside barns and stables, etc.

Food: Barn Swallows eat insects – both flying and terrestrial. They usually take relatively large, single insects rather than feeding on swarms of smaller prey. They typically feed just above shallow waters or turf. They have been known to follow tractors and livestock, eating the insects that are flushed out by their movement.

Impact on Human Health: As insect eaters, Barn Swallows are usually well tolerated. The birds often carry avian lice and bird mites. When nesting in colonies, their droppings and parasites can present a threat to human health.

Impact on Architecture: Barn Swallows colonies can have hundreds of birds and
mud nests. The sheer weight of these nests can collapse structures. If forcibly torn down, the residue that holds the nest together can damage the surface. Swallows can be particularly destructive when mass colonies nest under interstate or highway bridges that cross rivers.

Barn Swallow Control Methods: Bird Spikes: Premium Nixalite Stainless Spikes.
Bird Netting: K-Net HT Bird Netting, Bird-Net Bird Netting, PollyNet Bird Netting, EnduraNet Bird & Bat Netting, Welded Wire Mesh.
Additional Products: Bird-Zap Shock Track, Copper Blocker Access Control, and Vent & Chimney Guards.

NOTE: Barn Swallows are one of the 1,007 bird species protected by the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is your responsibility to check local, state and federal regulations regarding the control of bird and/or animal species.
Simply purchasing the best control does not guarantee success. Best results
come from a thorough knowledge of both the species and the product or method
you employ. If you have any questions, please contact Nixalite of America Inc
and speak with a bird control product specialist.