Can You Identify These Eight North American Swallows?
Mystery Swallow #2
Males have metallic-green or blue-green backs; females are brown above. Both are white below, and the tail is notched. A cavity nester, it has benefitted from the popularity of bluebird nest boxes. Hint: When bluebird houses are not available, it nests in tree cavities.
a) Tree swallow
b) Barn swallow
c) Violet-green swallow
d) Cliff swallow
Answer: a) Tree swallow. This is the only swallow in North America that commonly eats berries (in addition to insects). Because it is not dependent exclusively on insects, it can spend the winter along the southern U.S. coasts.