Can You Identify These Eight North American Swallows?
Mystery Swallow #4
Blue-black above, with underparts ranging from creamy to orange, this species has the longest and most forked tail of any North American swallow. Its dark throat contrasts with its warm, paler belly. Hint: This species usually builds a nest on human-made structures, such as under bridges, the eaves of houses, or farm structures.
a) Cliff swallow
b) Bank swallow
c) Barn swallow
d) Silo swallow
Answer: c) Barn swallow. The barn swallow winters in South America—and has been found nesting and breeding in Argentina during the northern winter! That may be unique among northern breeding birds.
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Tips for Easy Bird Identification
Identifying birds is at the very heart of bird watching. Each bird encountered is like a little puzzle or mystery to solve, because, while birds of a single species all share a certain set of physical traits, no two individual birds, like no two individual humans, are exactly alike.