In detail

The swallow - Wanted poster


Surname: Swallow
Other names: /
Latin name: Hirundinidae
class: Birds
size: 10 - 20cm
mass: 15 - 25g
Older: 4 - 8 years
Appearance: Color is species dependent, but characteristic is the long swallowtail
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Flies, beetles, larvae, worms
distribution: worldwide
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: requires rock faces as breeding area
natural enemies: Eagle, falcon, eagle owl, sparrowhawk
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: March - June
breeding season: 14 - 18 days
clutch size: 2 - 6 eggs
social behavior: colony forming
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the swallow

  • The swallows or Hirundinidae describe a more than eighty-species family of songbirds, which is considered a passerine bird.
  • They are distributed around the world and live as migratory birds that leave their homeland in October and set off for their winter quarters in warmer regions. In the course of their journey, swallows travel up to five thousand kilometers.
  • Many swallows fall victim to birds of prey or die from cold spells or storms.
  • In order to avoid strong heat, swallows when crossing deserts, fly during the day much higher than during the night.
  • In Central Europe, there are a total of four species, the shore-swallow, the swallow-swallow, the rock-swallow and the barn-swallow. These move to their winter quarters in Africa in the fall, since the food supply in their homeland is too low.
  • All swallows share their streamlined slender body and narrow wings. In addition, all species have the characteristic, mid-forked swallowtail, a short beak and tender feet.
  • Swallows become between ten and twenty centimeters long and are usually inconspicuously gray or brown colored on the upper side, while the belly side from the Schnabelansatz to the tail appears white or in bright yellow in many kinds.
  • Swallows feed mainly on flying insects, which they capture in the air. Worms and soil-dwelling insects are also among their food sources.
  • In the spring, the swallows return to their homeland to breed.
  • As nesting sites, swallows prefer ramparts and well-protected areas under roofs.
  • Their nest builds the swallow mainly from clay, Körpersekreten and straw. Due to a strong decline in natural wetlands, swallows today find little more clay in many places to lay their nests.
  • The Central European swallows breed from April to May per clutch between two and six eggs, with two annual broods are common.
  • The young birds hatch after an average of two weeks and stay between three and four weeks in the nest, where they are supplied with food by both parents.
  • Many swallows fall to sparrows, eagle owls and hawks.
  • The life expectancy of the swallows is a maximum of eight years.