Birdorable Bushtit

The Bushtit, sometimes called the American Bushtit, is a charming little bird that often goes unnoticed due to its diminutive size and subtle coloration. Measuring up to about 4.5 inches in length, this tiny songbird can be found across a wide range of habitats in western North America, from southern Canada all the way to Central America. Despite its small stature, the Bushtit plays a big role in the ecosystems it inhabits.

Bushtits have soft, grayish-brown plumage, with lighter underparts and a slightly darker face. Some populations, particularly those in interior regions, have a darker cap, giving them a more pronounced facial contrast. The Bushtit’s small, round body and short tail make it look almost spherical when perched. 

Bushtits have several different recognized subspecies spread across North America, each with slight variations in appearance and range. While the most commonly referred to is the American Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus), ornithologists recognize at least 10 different subspecies that are grouped into three subgroups, including Pacific, Interior, and melanotis. 

Bushtit by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0)

American Bushtits are social creatures, often found in large, bustling flocks that can number from a few individuals to over 50 birds. These flocks move through trees and shrubs with remarkable agility, constantly chattering and flitting about as they forage for food. Their diet consists mainly of small insects and spiders, which they glean from foliage, branches, and bark. In winter, they may also eat seeds and berries.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the American Bushtit’s life is its nesting behavior. These birds are known for their elaborate, pendulous nests, which are intricately woven from spider silk, plant fibers, and other soft materials. The nests hang from branches like small socks, with a topside entrance that provides access to the interior. Both the male and female work together to build the nest, which can take several weeks to complete. Once finished, the nest is a cozy, well-insulated structure that can protect the eggs and chicks from the elements.

Breeding in American Bushtits is highly cooperative, and very interesting. Pairs often raising two broods in a single season, but this is done with the help of additional male birds, who may or may not be related to either parent. Males and females incubate the eggs, which takes less that two weeks before the chicks hatch. During this period, and while the chicks are being cared for after hatching, all of the attendant adults who are caring for the chicks may roost together in their pendulous nest!  This cooperative breeding behavior is relatively rare among birds and highlights the strong social bonds within Bushtit flocks.

Bushtits are not particularly loud, but they have a variety of soft, high-pitched calls that they use to communicate with each other. Their calls include a mix of chips, trills, and twittering sounds, which help keep the flock together as they move through dense vegetation. They do not sing a typical song.

The Bushtit is a new addition to our Birdorable family. They belong to our Tits, Chickadees & Kinglets group, and are most closely related to the Long-tailed Tit of the Old World. 

Birdorable Bushtit Gifts

800th Birdorable Bird

Meet the Puerto Rican Tody: Puerto Rico's Tiny Gem

Today we're revealing a new bird, and it's a big one -- our 800th Birdorable! 🎉 Actually, it's a really SMALL one -- our newest species to join Birdorable is the Puerto Rican Tody!

Birdorable Puerto-rican Tody

The Puerto Rican Tody is a tiny gem of a bird found exclusively in Puerto Rico. Known locally as "San Pedrito" (meaning Little Saint Peter), this vibrant little bird is a delight to spot in the wild. Measuring just about 4 inches in length, the Puerto Rican Tody packs a lot of charm into its small frame.

One of the first things you'll notice about the Puerto Rican Tody is its striking coloration. It sports a bright green head and back, a white underbelly, and a vivid red throat. This colorful plumage makes it easy to spot among the dense foliage of its habitat. Despite its small size, the Puerto Rican Tody is quite bold in appearance, a feature that makes it a favorite among birdwatchers. 

The Puerto Rican Tody belongs to the Todidae family, which includes five species in total, all of which are found in the Caribbean. The species’ scientific name, Todus mexicanus, might suggest a connection to Mexico, but this is a bit of a misnomer. The Puerto Rican Tody is a true endemic species, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world.

Birdorable Puerto-rican Tody

This little bird thrives in a variety of habitats across Puerto Rico, from dense forests to more open woodland areas. It’s often seen flitting about in the understory, where it hunts for insects using a unique method known as "leaf-feeding". Prey items are found from below, and then captured on a short flight with a sweeping motion of the beak. The Puerto Rican Tody is a master insectivore, preying on a wide variety of bugs, including beetles, flies, and ants. Its diet also includes small spiders and other arthropods, making it an important part of the local ecosystem as a natural pest controller.

Puerto Rican Todies are cavity nesters, meaning they nest in holes. They dig their nests in soft soil banks; the nest-building process is a team effort, with both the male and female participating. They use their small, sharp bills to excavate a burrow. At the end of this tunnel, they create a small chamber where the female will lay her eggs, typically 2-3 per clutch. The incubation period lasts about three weeks, with both parents sharing the duty of keeping the eggs warm and later feeding the chicks. Both males and females develop brood patches to aid in incubation.

Today this little jewel of Puerto Rico joins our Birdorable family as our 800th bird! It's a tiny bird making a big debut!

Photo of Puerto Rican Tody

Puerto Rican Tody by Juanantonioortiz (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cute Birdorable Tody Gifts

Birdorable Calliope Hummingbird

As our Hummingbird Week 2024 starts to wind down, we are proud to introduce the smallest breeding bird of North America to our Birdorable family-- it's the Calliope Hummingbird!

The Calliope Hummingbird is a marvel in the bird world despite its small size. Named after Calliope, the muse of epic poetry in Greek mythology, this tiny bird packs a punch with its vibrant plumage and dynamic behavior. During the breeding season, these little ones are found primarily in the western United States and parts of Canada. They winter in Mexico. The Calliope Hummingbird is the world's smallest long-distance migratory bird.

First and foremost, the Calliope Hummingbird holds the title of the smallest breeding bird in North America. Measuring up to just 3.9 inches (10cm) in length and typically weighing less than 0.1 oz (2 to 3 grams), it’s hard to believe how much energy and beauty can be contained in such a tiny package. Despite its small stature, the Calliope Hummingbird exhibits incredible flying abilities, capable of hovering in place and performing swift aerial maneuvers with ease.

One of the most striking features of the Calliope Hummingbird is its vibrant plumage, especially in males. Adult males are adorned with a striking magenta streaked gorget, or throat patch, which can appear almost iridescent in the sunlight. The rest of their body is mostly green with white underparts, creating a beautiful contrast. Females and juveniles, while less colorful, still display a delicate beauty with their green backs and subtle buffy flanks.

Calliope Hummingbird by Alan Schmierer (Public Domain)

The Calliope Hummingbird’s diet consists mainly of nectar from a variety of flowering plants. They have a particular affinity for tubular flowers, which complement their long, slender bills. In addition to nectar, they also feed on small insects and spiders, which provide essential proteins. This varied diet helps maintain their high metabolism and energy levels required for their active lifestyle.

During the breeding season, the Calliope Hummingbird showcases some fascinating behaviors. Males perform a unique courtship display to attract females, involving extremely rapid wingbeats (significantly faster than normal hovering or flying wingbeats) which create a buzzing sound. This is accompanied by the display of throat feathers. After this display, the male ascends and then performs a high-speed dive, which produces different sounds as the feathers slice through the air. The male vocalizes during this performance as well -- all to attract the attention of a potential mate.

The Calliope Hummingbird is also known for its impressive migratory behavior. Despite their small size, these birds undertake long migrations, traveling from their breeding grounds in the western United States and Canada to their wintering grounds in Mexico. This journey can span over 5,000 miles round trip!

The Calliope Hummingbird is a tiny bird with an impressive presence. Its vibrant colors, dynamic behaviors, and impressive migratory feats make it a fascinating subject for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. The Calliope Hummingbird joins Birdorable as our 799th bird!

Birdorable's Calliope Hummingbird Swag

Birdorable Violet Sabrewing

Our Birdorable Hummingbird Week 2024 continues today with a new species added to our flock: it's the Violet Sabrewing!

The Violet Sabrewing is one of the largest and most stunning hummingbirds in the Americas. This vibrant bird is a spectacle with its iridescent plumage and dynamic behavior. Found primarily in the tropical regions of Central America, the Violet Sabrewing captures the fascination of bird enthusiasts with its striking appearance and unique characteristics. 

One of the most distinctive feature of the Violet Sabrewing is its vivid plumage. Adult males are particularly striking with their deep violet-blue feathers covering most of their bodies. They have a distinctive white spot behind their eyes and a curved bill that is adapted to feed on nectar. Females are slightly less colorful, with green upperparts and a mix of violet and white on their underparts. This sexual dimorphism is typical in many hummingbird species and plays a significant role in their mating rituals.

Violet Sabrewing by ryanacandee (CC BY 2.0)

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Violet Sabrewing is its size. This bird is big -- for a hummingbird! It is one of the largest species of hummingbirds, measuring up to 5.9 inches (nearly 15cm) in length. Even at this size, they're still hummers, and these hummingbirds are incredibly agile and can perform impressive aerial maneuvers. Their powerful wings allow them to hover in place while feeding and even fly backward, showcasing their remarkable flight capabilities.

The diet of the Violet Sabrewing is primarily composed of nectar from a variety of flowering plants. They have a preference for flowers with long corollas, which match their long, curved bills. In addition to nectar, they also consume small insects and spiders, which provide essential proteins, especially during the breeding season. This diet helps sustain their high energy levels and supports that active hummingbird lifestyle!

Violet Sabrewings are typically found in humid tropical forests, often at elevations ranging from 1,600 - 6,600 feet (500 to 2,000 meters). They prefer habitats with abundant flowering plants, naturally, which provide a consistent food source for these nectar-lovers. These hummingbirds are also known to visit gardens and feeders, where they can be observed up close, much to the delight of bird watchers.

The conservation status of the Violet Sabrewing is currently classified as "Least Concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), though the population is thought to be decreasing. Habitat loss due to deforestation and human encroachment poses a significant threat to their population, which is currently large and widely distributed. 

The Violet Sabrewing hummingbird joins our avian family and becomes our 798th Birdorable bird! Tune in tomorrow as we wrap up Hummingbird Week (and reveal one more new hummer!).

Violet Sabrewing Gifts from Birdorable

Birdorable Red-billed Streamertail

For this Hummingbird Week, we're introducing a fabulous new species of hummingbird to the Birdorable family: the Red-billed Streamertail!

The Red-billed Streamertail is one of the most dazzling and delightful birds you can find in Jamaica. This bird is not only a sight to behold but also holds a special place in Jamaican culture and folklore. It's importance to the country is seen in the fact that it's the official national bird of Jamaica.

The Red-billed Streamertail is a member of the hummingbird family, known for its spectacularly long tail feathers and vibrant colors. The males of the species are especially eye-catching with their brilliant emerald-green plumage and long, ribbon-like tail feathers that can be up to 10 inches long. These streamers flutter gracefully behind them as they fly.

Female Red-billed Streamertails are less flamboyant but equally adorable. They lack the long tail feathers and have more subdued green plumage with white underparts. Despite their differences, both males and females share the characteristic red bill that gives the species its name.

This beautiful bird is endemic to Jamaica, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. Its preferred habitats are tropical rainforests, gardens, and plantations where it can find ample food sources. The Red-billed Streamertail feeds primarily on nectar, using its long bill to reach deep into flowers. In addition to nectar, it also consumes small insects and spiders, providing a well-rounded diet that supports its high-energy lifestyle.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Red-billed Streamertail is its courtship display. Males perform an aerial dance to attract females, flying in broad arcs and loops, and even hovering, all while showing off their long tail streamers. This display is not only a visual spectacle but also produces a distinctive whirring sound, adding an auditory element to the performance.

In Jamaican culture, the Red-billed Streamertail is more than just a beautiful bird; it is a national symbol and a subject of many legends and stories. Locally known as the Doctor Bird, this hummingbird is celebrated in folklore as a mystical creature with healing powers. Some tales even suggest that seeing a Doctor Bird brings good luck.

The conservation status of the Red-billed Streamertail is currently stable, thanks in part to its adaptability and the relatively intact habitats in Jamaica. However, habitat destruction and climate change pose potential threats to its population. Conservation efforts and awareness are essential to ensure that this stunning bird continues to thrive in its natural environment.

Birdwatchers visiting Jamaica are often eager to catch a glimpse of the Red-billed Streamertail, and it's no wonder why. Watching a male in full display is like witnessing a living jewel in motion. Their rapid wing beats and dazzling colors make them a highlight for any birding expedition.

The Red-billed Streamertail is a remarkable bird with its radiant plumage, extraordinary tail feathers, and captivating courtship displays. Its importance in Jamaican culture and folklore further enhances its charm. Ensuring the conservation of this endemic species allows future generations to continue to marvel at one of nature's most exquisite avian wonders. We welcome this amazing little flying jewel to our Birdorable family!

Birdorable Red-billed Streamertail Gifts

Birdorable Brown Tanager and Brown-flanked Tanager

Birdorable Brown Tanager (left) and Brown-flanked Tanager (right)

Two of our newest birds here at Birdorable are the Brown Tanager and Brown-flanked Tanager. The two different species may seem similar at first glance due to their names, but they have distinct characteristics, ranges, habits, and habitats. Let's dive into the details of these two fascinating birds.

The Brown Tanager

The Brown Tanager (Orchesticus abeillei) is a small bird endemic to Brazil where it is found in the highlands of the southeast.  It prefers the dense, humid forests of the Atlantic Forest biome, often at elevations between 900 and 2,000 meters. This bird's plumage is predominantly brown, as its name suggests, but it can have subtle variations in shade. The Brown Tanager is relatively elusive, making it a treat for birdwatchers who manage to spot it.

The diet of the Brown Tanager consists mainly of insects; fruits are an occasional treat. Brown Tanagers are often seen foraging alone or in pairs, though they may join mixed-species feeding flocks during certain times of the year.

The Brown Tanager is the only species in its genus, Orchesticus

The Brown-flanked Tanager

The Brown-flanked Tanager (Thlypopsis pectoralis) is also an endemic species, this one found only in Peru.  This bird favors montane forests, typically between 2,500 and 3,200 meters in elevation. The Brown-flanked Tanager is easily recognizable by its distinctive rufous-orange head and breast on an otherwise drab grey-brown body.

The Brown-flanked Tanager's diet is comprised mostly of prey items including insects, moths, and caterpillars. One interesting aspect of the Brown-flanked Tanager's behavior is its participation in mixed-species flocks. These flocks, common in Andean forests, consist of various bird species that move together while foraging. This behavior helps reduce the risk of predation and increases foraging efficiency.

The Brown-flanked Tanager is a member of the genus Thlypopsis, a group of 8 tanager species with a widespread range across parts of South America.

A Tale of Two Tanagers

For bird enthusiasts, observing these two species offers a chance to appreciate the diversity of tanagers and the unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in their respective environments. Whether it's the quiet beauty of the Brown Tanager in Brazil's highland forests or the active presence of the Brown-flanked Tanager in the Andean montane forests of Peru, each bird brings its own charm to the avian world. We proudly welcome these tropical avian friends to our big Birdorable family!

New Birdorable Tanagers Apparel & Gifts

Swallow Week 2024: Violet-green Swallow

Nature's Prism: Inside the Life of a Violet-green Swallow

Birdorable Violet-green Swallow

The Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina), with its iridescent plumage that shimmers in hues of green and violet under the sunlight, is a stunning sight for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike. This bird is not only admired for its stunning appearance but also for its remarkable traits and behaviors that make it a fascinating subject of study.

Native to the western regions of North America, the Violet-green Swallow has captivated many with its agile flight and aerial acrobatics as it hunts for insects in the sky. These birds are consummate fliers, capable of executing swift turns and dives to capture their prey, which includes flies, beetles, and other airborne insects. Their diet plays a crucial role in controlling insect populations, showcasing the importance of these and other swallows in maintaining ecological balance.

Preferring the cavities of trees in open woodlands and forests, Violet-green Swallows often utilize holes created by woodpeckers or natural crevices to lay their eggs. They have also adapted to nesting in special boxes and other man-made structures, reflecting their ability to thrive in diverse environments. Inside these nests, lined with feathers and soft materials, females lay between four to six white eggs per clutch.

Violet-green Swallow by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

The Violet-green Swallow is currently not facing significant threats and is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, like all wildlife, they are not immune to the challenges of habitat loss, climate change, and pollution. Efforts to conserve their natural habitats and ensure a healthy environment are essential for the continued survival and prosperity of these swallows.

Despite their vibrant colors, Violet-green Swallows can be elusive, often blending into the vastness of the sky until their iridescent feathers catch the light just right, revealing their true beauty. This elusive nature adds to the allure of spotting them during their migratory journeys or while they perform their aerial feats above meadows, forests, and bodies of water.

Swallow Week 2024: Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Unassuming Aerialists: Exploring the Life of Northern Rough-winged Swallows

Birdorable Northern Rough-winged Swallow flying

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) is a modestly plumaged bird, often overlooked due to its subtle brown coloring and less flashy appearance compared to other swallows. However, what it lacks in vibrant colors, it makes up for with its intriguing characteristics and behaviors. This bird is named for the tiny hooks or serrations along the edge of its primary wing feathers, a feature unique among swallows, believed to help in catching insects mid-flight.

One of the most fascinating facts about the Northern Rough-winged Swallow is its adaptability in nesting locations. Unlike many birds that are specific about their habitat, this species can nest in a variety of settings, including sandy banks, gravel pits, or even man-made structures like drainage pipes and culverts. This adaptability showcases their resilience and resourcefulness in finding safe places to raise their young.

Conservation concerns for the Northern Rough-winged Swallow are relatively low compared to other bird species. They are currently not listed as threatened or endangered, thanks largely to their adaptability to various habitats, including those altered by humans. Nonetheless, they are not immune to broader environmental threats such as habitat destruction, pollution, and the broader impacts of climate change, which could affect their food sources and nesting sites in the future.

Birdorable Northern Rough-winged Swallow perched

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Like the other swallows we've featured this week, the diet of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow is primarily composed of insects. Their aerial hunting skills allow them to catch a wide variety of prey, including flies, beetles, and moths, directly from the air. This diet makes them beneficial for natural pest control, helping to manage insect populations in their environments.

Northern Rough-winged Swallows are quite versatile in terms of habitat, found across a broad range of North America during the breeding season, from Canada to Mexico. They prefer open habitats near water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and streams, where they can easily find insects to eat and suitable nesting sites.

Nesting is a unique process for this species. They often excavate tunnels in sandy or gravelly banks or take advantage of natural cavities and man-made structures to lay their eggs. The nests are usually lined with soft materials for the eggs and developing chicks. This behavior demonstrates their ability to thrive in a variety of conditions and utilize what the environment offers for their reproductive success.

Despite their unassuming appearance, Northern Rough-winged Swallows play a significant role in their ecosystems as insectivores and as part of the avian biodiversity. Their presence across North America's skies and waterways is a reminder of the subtle beauty and complexity of nature's creations.

Northern Rough-winged Swallows by Vince Smith (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Birdorable Northern Rough-winged Swallow Gifts

Swallow Week 2024: Cliff Swallow

Winged Harbingers: The Annual Return of the Swallows to Capistrano

Birdorable Cliff Swallows at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Cliff Swallows at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Every spring, a small but mighty signal marks the transition from winter to spring in San Juan Capistrano, California. We're not looking for a blooming flower, or feeling for a warm breeze -- we're awaiting the celebrated return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano. This event, celebrated annually on March 19th, is a local tradition that has captured the imagination and hearts of people around the world. It's a celebration of nature, history, and community, deeply rooted in the traditions of the past and eagerly anticipated each year.

So as our Swallow Week continues here on the Birdorable Blog, we're proud to introduce a new species to the family: the Cliff Swallow! These are the celebrated swallows of San Juan Capistrano, whose return each year is commemorated by the local community.

The story of the Cliff Swallows' return begins with their remarkable migratory pattern. These small birds, known for their agility in the air and their distinctive fork-tailed silhouette, travel approximately 6,000 miles from Goya, Argentina, to San Juan Capistrano each spring. Their journey is a wonder of nature, and shows the magic of the instinctual drive that guides animal migration. The swallows use the old Mission San Juan Capistrano as their nesting place, where they build their mud nests under the eaves and archways of the historic buildings.

Why are these birds celebrated? The tradition dates back to the 1920s when Father St. John O’Sullivan, the pastor of the Mission, noticed the shopkeeper in town knocking down the swallow's mud nests. Moved by the plight of the birds, he welcomed them at the Mission, offering a safe haven for their nests. This act of kindness sparked a lasting relationship between the swallows and the Mission, marking the beginning of an annual celebration that would grow to attract attention far beyond the local community.

Birdorable Cliff Swallows at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Cliff Swallows at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

The return of the swallows is celebrated today on St. Joseph’s Day, annually on March 19th, a day filled with festivities, cultural performances, and community engagement. The event includes the ringing of the historic Mission bells, live music, including Mariachi bands, Native American storytelling, Flamenco dance performances, and more, all designed to honor both the Cliff Swallows' return, and the cultural heritage of the area. The celebration is a blend of history, culture, and nature, showcasing the community's connection to its environment and its past.

The swallows' return during springtime is symbolic of renewal and rebirth, themes deeply ingrained in the human psyche and celebrated in cultures around the world. For the people of San Juan Capistrano and visitors from around the globe, the swallows' return and their celebration is a seasonal reminder of the resilience of nature and the beauty of life's cyclical patterns.

The return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano is more than just an ornithological event; it's a celebration deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of the community, symbolizing hope, the renewal of spring, and the enduring bond between humans and the natural world. As we celebrate the swallows' return each year, we are reminded of the beauty of nature, the richness of tradition, and the importance of community in our lives.

Cliff Swallows and nests photo

Cliff Swallows and nests

Birdorable Cliff Swallow Merch

Swallow Week 2024: Bank Swallow

Discover the Interesting World of the Bank Swallow

Birdorable Bank Swallows

Today we're introducing a new member to our Birdorable family in honor of Swallow Week: it's our Birdorable Bank Swallow.

The Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) is a small, agile bird with a distinctive brown back, white underparts, and a unique band across its chest. This bird, the smallest swallow in North America, holds a special place in the hearts of bird enthusiasts for its remarkable characteristics and behaviors. Let's dive into some interesting facts about the Bank Swallow, its longevity, conservation status, diet, habitat, and nesting habits.

Bank Swallows are highly sociable during their breeding season. They nest in large colonies that can include hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual nests. 

These birds are expert flyers, catching insects mid-air with their mouths. Their flight is fast, with quick wing beats and sudden turns and dives.  Despite their small size, like most swallow species they are long-distance migrants, wintering in South America and breeding across North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Bank Swallow in Montrose Beach, Chicago

Bank Swallow at Montrose Beach, Chicago by Raed Mansour (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Bank Swallow populations have been declining in several areas due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and challenges due to climate change. They are particularly vulnerable because they rely on undisturbed riverbanks and sandy cliffs for nesting. The species is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, but the declines in some regions have raised conservation concerns.

Bank Swallows feed almost exclusively on flying insects, including flies, mosquitoes, mayflies, and beetles. They catch their prey in flight, using their acrobatic flying skills to maneuver and capture insects. This diet makes them valuable for controlling insect populations, including agricultural pests and disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The Bank Swallow's name comes from its unique nesting habits; it lives and breeds primarily in sandy banks along rivers, lakes, and quarries. These habitats provide the vertical surfaces necessary for the birds to excavate their nesting tunnels. Across their Old World range, Bank Swallows are known as Collared Sand Martins.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Bank Swallow's life is its nesting behavior. They dig tunnels in vertical sand or dirt banks, often forming large colonies with many nests close together. They use their specially adapted small conical bills, feet, and wings to dig out their burrows. Each tunnel, typically 2-3 feet deep, ends in a nesting chamber where the female lays 4-5 white eggs.

Both parents share in feeding the chicks, which fledge about three weeks after hatching. The communal aspect of their nesting sites provides some protection against predators, although the nests are still vulnerable to disturbances and predation.

The Bank Swallow is a remarkable bird with fascinating behaviors, from its long-distance migrations to its unique nesting habits. Despite facing challenges from habitat loss and other threats, conservation efforts aim to ensure that these agile flyers continue to grace our skies and riversides for generations to come.

Flying Sand Martins in Portugal

European Sand Martins (Bank Swallows) in Portugal by Luiz Lapa (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Cute Bank Swallow Gifts