Look out for bare trees, silver birch, rowan and sycamore might be without leaves soon!
- Swooping graceful flight on long wings with long, forked tail
- Autumn juveniles have shorter tail streamers
- At rest look for cream underside and dark red throat and forehead (more of a rusty-buff colour in juveniles)
swallow fact sheet
Call is a cheerful 'vit vit' in flight and a rapid twittering song - click on the recording below to listen:
Open country, usually near water and houses. It builds its nest on ledges, beams and joists in sheds and outbuildings.
Gathers in restless flocks in autumn on telephone wires and with martins over marshes and reedbeds.
When to look for
Fabulous swallow facts
Until the late 19th century, swallows were thought to hibernate under water
Swallows often nested in chimneys before the advent of central heating
They drink by skimming low over lakes or rivers and scooping up water with their open beaks
One swallow was recorded as having flown 12,000 kilometres from Johannesburg to Russia in just 34 days