Birds Image Stock | Barn swallow

The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), a small bird with dark, glossy-blue back, red throat, pale underpart and long tail streamers, is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It has a long, deeply forked tail that streams out behind this agile flyer – according to legend, the Barn Swallow got its forked tail because it stole fire from the gods to bring to people. An angry deity hurled a firebrand at the swallow, singeing away its middle tail feathers. Barn swallows fly in a zigzag manner at the speed of 11 meters per second. They often fly close to the surface of the ground and water and feed during the flight. It also flies close to the surface of water and scoops water using its beak during the flight. Barn swallow migrates to the south during the winter to avoid low temperatures and lack of food. True to their name, they build their cup-shaped mud nests almost exclusively on human-made structures. During the 19th century, barn swallows were hunted because of their feathers that were used in the manufacture of hats.
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