Tree Swallow

DSCF5537

Tree Swallow (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Tachycineta bicolor) photographed 06/28/2014 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge east of Bono, Ohio.

Tree Swallows (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Tachycineta bicolor) spend their summers breeding in the northern half of North America. They nest in tree cavities and wooden boxes provided by humans, usually near bodies of water. Ponds, lakes, and streams can produce large numbers of dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, and other insects that these agile birds prey upon in the air. These hardy swallows can also subsist on plant material during cold periods when insects are incapable of flight.

DSCF5538

Tree Swallow (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Tachycineta bicolor) photographed 06/28/2014 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge east of Bono, Ohio.

The bodies of Tree Swallows are dark above and pure white below. In mature males the dark upper surfaces have feathers that are iridescent blue, giving them a shimmering appearance in the sun.

DSCF5533

Tree Swallow (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Tachycineta bicolor) photographed 06/28/2014 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge east of Bono, Ohio.

By mid-summer most Tree Swallow chicks will have fledged, prompting these birds to begin their long southward migration. They overwinter in the warmer reaches of North America, often living in dense flocks that can be made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Advertisements

About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s