Northern Rough-winged Swallow

About the Northern Rough-winged Swallow

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis, is a modestly colored bird with a uniform brownish-gray plumage that covers its body, making it less conspicuous than some of its more vibrantly colored relatives. However, what it lacks in color, it makes up for in character. This species is named for the tiny hooks or serrations on the outer edge of their primary flight feathers, a unique feature among swallows.

These birds are solitary or found in small groups rather than large colonies typical of other swallows. They are adept flyers, catching insects mid-air with skillful maneuvers. The Northern Rough-winged Swallow nests in natural cavities near water bodies, including riverbanks or sandbanks, and they are also known to utilize man-made structures for nesting.

Their habitat spans across a wide range of open areas near water, such as lakes, rivers, and streams across North America. They migrate to Central America and the southern United States to spend the winter, returning north to breed in the spring.

Despite their widespread presence, these swallows face challenges from habitat destruction and pollution. Conservation efforts aim to preserve their natural habitats and ensure clean waterways, which are crucial for sustaining insect populations that the swallows feed on.

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

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...  Read more »