Swallows in Ireland
swallow is one of Ireland's favourite birds. Their arrival heralds
the arrival of summer. Swallows are small with dark, glossy blue
backs, red throats, pale or white underparts and long tail streamers.
They have black beaks, legs and feet.
swallows have a pale orange and their tail streamers are noticeably
shorter than in the adult. Both sexes are similar in appearance.
are very agile fliers and they spend most of their lives in flight.
They are widespread breeding birds in Ireland, migrating south to
Africa in autumn. They spend the winter in southern Africa. A migration
that takes them across the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert.
Name for Swallow
Irish word for swallow is Fáinleogn.
swallow's diet is almost exclusively based upon flying insects such
as flies, aphids, and flying ants, caught in flight. They can often
be seen flying low over the ground or water with their beaks agape
catching insects in huge numbers.
swallow drinks by skimming low over lakes or rivers and scooping
up water with its open beak.
build a bowl-shaped nest out of mud in in barns and other buildings.
They frequently return the same nesting place and reuse nests from
adults build the nest from mud and plant fibres usually against
a beam or shelf in buildings or a ledge on cliffs. There are instances
were nests have been reused for nearly 50 years.
eggs of the Swallow are about 20 mm by 14 mm in size, and are smooth,
glossy, and white with reddish speckles. The female incubates the
eggs. Newly-hatched young swallows are fed by both adults. Once
fledged, the youngsters receive food in mid-air from their parents.