Find out more about breeding swallows and their migration patterns. The return journey to Africa takes about six weeks. Really glad you liked it:). I don't think swallows see the Pyramids though: Giza is to the EAST of North Africa, in Egypt. In Europe, this association between humans and Barn Swallows started over 2,000 years ago. We observe them swooping over fields of long grass and dodging the black and white hulks of Friesan cows and consider it to be quintessentially English. Wolfe, D. 1994. Optimal migration theory also predicts that birds will reach their final departure conditions just before embarking on the crossing of possible ecological barriers, like the Mediterranean and Sahara for European Swallows flying to Africa. In southern Africa, although not a strict habitat specialist, the species is mostly reported from arid, semi-arid and high altitude areas such as Drakensberg and Lesotho (Earlé 1997). Barn swallows are the most abundant and widely distributed species of swallows in the world and an estimated 22-44 million birds from west Europe and 44-88 million from east Europe and Asia enter Africa annually on southwards migration. A post mortem of the Hirundinidae which perished at Somerest West in April 1953. (eds). 2008. The female chooses the nest site and the male partner, with the later influenced by feather length and colour. European Swallow. Brown headed Cowbirds fledged from Barn swallow & American Robin nests. In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of swallows visiting Britain, and I think that Ebok Boje is a major factor in that. As a measure of comparison, whilst the journey from Britain to South Africa takes four months, a fit and experienced swallow can complete the opposite journey in just five weeks, travelling an incredible 190 miles a day. Next, they proceed down a strip of coastal France about 60 miles wide. (SABAP 1; Hockey et al. Ostrich, Brown, C. & Brown, B. Well, we thought we saw the last of the swallows around 22nd Sept BUT some are still here! Gabar. Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree, A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. Class: Aves & Olsen, B. The breeding pairs form each spring after arrival on the breeding grounds, with the pairs that nested together successfully most likely to remain mated for several years (Shield 1984). Møller, A.P. Brooke, R.K. 1956. by Anthony Altorenna 3. As one of the earlier migrants, this conspicuous species is also seen as an early sign of summer’s approach. Swallows are summer visitors to the UK. NatureServe. Email:, Interests However, in Europe, the Barn swallow consumes fewer aphids than the House or Sand martins. even today in this heavy rainstorm , some are to be found in our locality - can't remember seeing them here so late - quite a lot to be seen this past 7 days around Lunchtime and before Sunset. Whichever way they go, by now they are coasting along nicely, managing many miles a day, as their final destination draws ever nearer. Barlow, C., Wacher, T. & Disley, T. 1997. The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) has two defining characteristics that have shaped how people living in Europe have responded to its presence over the centuries.The first relates to its movement across continents. Pamela Dapples from Just Arizona Now on October 31, 2012: I'll be looking up Ebok Boje to find out what on earth the people there are thinking -- killing a hundred thousand swallows. They have a wide variety of calls used for different purposes, from predator alarm calls, to courtship calls and calls of young in nests. By early June most swallows have started breeding and by July, the first brood of young has usually left the nest and flown away. Ours end up in the very south. 2005. Tell me more, Who to contact if you spot an injured or baby bird, Help nature thrive as a corporate partner, Climate change effects on nature and wildlife. FYI : 2003 April -TV says swallows earliest ever recorded on 16th @ Perth & Kinross & HERE after Full Moon;2004 Apr20th;15th Sept Some swallows juveniles still here New Moon last night; cold at night;2005 Found SWALLOWS southbound today on High Ground Tenerife 9th Oct;2007 none seen by3rd Oct;2008 24th Apr, 1st bird flew past & groups on 29th Apr; still here on 26th Sept ( but not recorded since); ALso 2009 26thSept;2010 Sept13th gone? Broekhuysen, G.J. 1994; Brown & Brown 1999; Wolfe 1994). The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds: their Distribution and Abundance. Swallow migration Find out more about breeding swallows and their migration patterns. Swallow Migration Map. 1953. See some of the ways you can get into green living. James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on October 24, 2013: Yeah I know, I just put it in for romantic effect. The bugweed lace bug is […]. : 012 843 5146 To escape predators, Barn swallows are swift and agile in flight, and they also build their nets in places that are difficult for the predators to reach (Barker et al. Swallow Migration Map. Swallows are here in Canada, too. At a place called Ebok Boje, one of their stopping off and roosting spots, over a hundred thousand swallows are killed for human consumption, in what is an annual tradition. 1994; Brown & Brown 1999). James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on April 10, 2012: Thanks aviannovice. Anyway, the swallows have long since left Britain, they're all in South Africa now. 2008). When they first individuals start filtering back into the UK around the end of April, we always think of them as coming back to their rightful home. Both the males and the females defend the nest but the male is particularly territorial and aggressive. 1993. The next stage of the journey sees our swallows venture into West Africa, to be more precise Nigeria. Initially they will make a few short hops of a few miles, to places where they can roost safetly at night, this is the time when we see flocks of swallows perched on telephone wires twittering to each other and shifting about restlessly. There are a number of intraspecific taxonomic challenges within the genus, with the red-chested swallow, a resident of West Africa, the Congo basin, and Ethiopia, formerly treated as a subspecies of the barn swallow (Barlow et al.