Barn Swallow

      Hirundo rustica

      Information

      The proverb “One swallow doesn't make a summer” reflects the observation that individual Barn Swallows already return from their African wintering places as from mid-March. They only start to arrive in larger numbers as from mid-April, when summer is just around the corner. For many centuries, the Barn Swallow has been living in close proximity to people and is regarded as a harbinger of spring and good luck. It mostly breeds in cowsheds or barns and is a true master at building. One nest requires approximately 750-1400 small mud pellets. It has been calculated that they cover 220 kilometres to procure their nesting material.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      regular, common breeder and migrant, extremely rare winter visitor
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      70'000 - 90'000 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      long-distance migrant
      Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
      Diurnal migrant
      Length (cm)
      17-21
      wing span (cm)
      32-34.5
      Weight (g)
      16-25
      Nest site
      buildings
      Food
      insects, spiders
      Group
      Swallows
      Habitat
      farmland, settlements
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution