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Bank Swallow

About Bank Swallow

Small swallow with short bill and relatively short, only slightly forked tail; sandy brown above, off-white below with brown breast band.

This bird breeds in the early spring in colonies. It will dig its nest in a sandy bank or cliff, lining the nest with soft grass, leaves and feathers. The female will lay 4-6 white eggs, which are incubated by both the male and female for 14-15 days.

The Bank Swallow is the smallest and weakest of the swallows. Its flight is jerky and fluttering. But because of its agility on the wing, this bird is a very effective aerial hunter. It can catch its prey by being able to twist and turn very easily.

The prey for this bird is almost completely tiny airborne insects, such as mosquitoes and midges.

Each pair shares the bank with many other pairs which form a breeding colony that may number many hundreds of pairs. Each pair will return to the same site each year, but may not use the same nest.

Bank Swallows roost in mass colonies; with Barn Swallows they may form huge mixed roosts of up to 250,000 birds.