Our summer neighbor is a barn swallow

Our summer neighbor is a barn swallow
Our summer neighbor is a barn swallow
Anonim

Remember the simple song that "a swallow flies to visit us in the spring"? These words are dedicated to the migratory bird of the passerine order, whose appearance marks for us the end of cold weather and the onset of steady heat. In a scientific way, Hirundo rustica, and in Russian, killer whale, or village swallow, is a bird loved by the people. Previously, the plowman began to sow spring crops only after waiting for the arrival of these chirps. By the flight of the swallows, rain or a bucket (clear weather) was predicted, and no one was allowed to destroy their nests.

barn swallow

The barn swallow has too characteristic habits and appearance to be confused with other species: swifts, shorebirds, funnels and city swallows. For nests, she chooses low, one- or two-story buildings. The rural woman especially loves wooden houses with overhanging cornices. Funnels and coasters are chosen for nestinghigh banks of rivers, gouging shallow minks in sand or clay, and swifts and city swallows are not afraid of heights, sculpting their houses above the balconies of multi-storey buildings. These latter fly very high for prey, descending to the ground only in the evening or in the rain, while the villagers fly low. The barn swallow, the photo of which you see in the article, has an elongated black body with a forked tail. Its characteristic feature is a reddish head and neck, as well as a white breast, cut in half by a black stripe.

barn swallow photo

This is a migratory bird, although sometimes settled flocks are found in the Mediterranean. The area of ​​their nesting and wintering is huge: from the extreme north of Eurasia and North America to South America, Hindustan, Indochina, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, South Africa. Having given the bird strong wings, nature also endowed it with rather weak legs, so the barn swallow rarely sits on the ground. They even drink on the fly, striking water with their beaks. In the morning, when the water is warmer than the air, the birds indulge in water procedures, using shallows or puddles.

barn swallow

One can only guess where the barn swallow settled in those distant times, when people had not yet learned how to build houses. Now this bird has firmly entered our life and has become a synanthropic species. She sculpts her houses from clay and her own saliva, deftly mixing horsehair, straw, grass and feathers into this cementing solution. Inside the nest, both parents are covered with soft feathers. Femalelays 4 to 8 speckled white eggs. Both mother and father take care of naked and defenseless chicks. To feed the yellow-mouthed horde, they make about 400 years a day! But they also need to eat more than they themselves weigh, since such a rapid flight requires a lot of energy.

However, unlike the swifts and their city sisters, the barn swallow loves to sit and talk. For friendly rural gatherings, birds choose wires. In their opinion, a person only then builds houses so that there is somewhere to stick a nest, and he stretches the wires only so that the flock has somewhere to swing and spend an hour or two on a hot afternoon. The solidarity of these birds can serve as an example for everyone: if a predator appears near any nest, the parents call the neighbors with an alarming twitter: soon a huge flock gathers, which easily fights off the chicks and the magpie, and the cat, and even the hawk.

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