Can You Identify These Eight North American Swallows?

purple martin

Mystery Swallow #1

This is our continent’s largest swallow. Males are uniformly bluish-black above and below, which is distinctive. Females have a dark hood and upper breast, but a pale, smudgy belly. Hint: This species usually nests in colonies, so many people provide gourd or “apartment” complexes to attract them.
a) Blue-black swallow
b) Barn swallow
c) Purple martin
d) Tree swallow

Answer: c) Purple martin. Male martins perform a predawn song display in spring, high above their nesting colony, hoping to attract other martins—especially females.

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