Curbside Barn Swallow on a Chilly Morning

/, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Birds, Box Elder County, Utah/Curbside Barn Swallow on a Chilly Morning

Curbside Barn SwallowCurbside Barn Swallow – Nikon D500, f9, 1/320, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Even though it is nearly the end of May mornings can still be quite chilly here in northern Utah and that was the case five mornings ago at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge where I saw a low of 40°F as I drove out to the auto tour loop. I don’t mind it so much because I know that as the sun rises so does the temperature and I can still be nice and toasty in the front seat of my Jeep even with the window down while scouting for birds when I have the heat turned on until it warms up.

When I arrived at the parking area where the auto tour loop begins at the refuge I spotted a fluffed up curbside Barn Swallow warming up in the sunlight and couldn’t resist photographing it. Even though the swallow was on a man made perch I liked the fluffy feathers, the light in the bird’s eye and the great view of its tiny little feet.

A few Barn Swallow Facts:

  • Barn Swallows feed while in flight and consume flies, beetles, ants, butterflies, midges, mosquitoes, wasps and bees.
  • Barn Swallows prefer habitats that include open areas near lakes, ponds, marshes, beaches near coasts, fields, parks and meadows.
  • Barn Swallows lay 4 to 7 eggs which take 13 to 17 days to hatch. Both sexes incubate and they are monogamous, colonial nesters.
  • A group of swallows is called a “kettle” of swallows.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover May 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks for the list of facts to go with the recent image. Fun to watch these fast flyers!

  2. Elephants Child May 28, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Enchanting. And I am not surprised it is snuggled into its doona.

  3. Patty Chadwick May 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Cute as a bug’s ear!!! Reminds me of a baby barn swallow my sisters and I raised…we learned to dnsg flies right out of the air…fortunately, the horses and the barn drew a lot of flies…I love the “oil slick” iridescence of their bscks,the warm russet of their breasts and their tiny little beaks….

  4. Ken May 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I did not know that groups of swallows, like hawks, are called kettles.

  5. Laura Culley May 28, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Just lovely! Swallows are special birds and I just love watching them fly, swooping and diving after bugs. What a concept to have to catch your meals on the wing! This one looks a little grumpy that it’s cold out there!

  6. Bob mcpherson May 28, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Beautiful photo, MiA.

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