The Star of the Month February 2014: Barn Swallow

hirondelle EN

My name is Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica). It comes from the fact that I nesting in buildings such as barns or stables. In French, I’m also called « Hirondelle de cheminée » (which means “Chimney’s Swallow” because I often build my nest in chimneys.

I’m very small and weigh only 20 gr. As strength lies in numbers, I’m always accompanied by my friends.

You have to see us plunging, veering, skimming low over the water in an incredible speed and noiselessly, looking for insects to feed on: we are like real furtive fighters!

But when comes the evening we stop being discreet!

We gather by hundreds, by thousands above the Mikembo Sanctuary to spend the night in the lake reed beds on way back to Europe.

Once we have had a look around in a loud humming noise, we dive (almost vertically) to find a spot in these birds’ council houses. And there, we make a lot of noise until night fall, telling each other what we have done during the day and maintaining our position in the reed beds!

Our hosts who are sitting behind their bar can not believe what they see and hear J Magical…

hirondelle plein

If you want to know more about the Barn Swallow : hirondelle – anglais