Sunday is John Avise Themed Bird Photo Day, and today we have some favorites of Matthew and me, swallows and swifts. John’s narrative and IDs are indented, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them.
Swallows and Swifts
Swallows (Hirundinidae) and Swifts (Apodidae) are aerial insectivores that spend most of their lives in flight, catching insects while on the wing. Despite their aerodynamic body forms and similarities in behavior, these two families of birds are not closely related, but instead gained this lifestyle independently, via convergent evolution. Nevertheless, in a sense their common names could have been interchangeable, because it is certainly true that Swallows are swift, and Swifts do swallow lots of insects. Altogether, each family has close to 100 species collectively distributed worldwide. This week’s post shows several North American species of Swallows and Swifts.
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica):
Another Barn Swallow in flight:
Barn Swallow on nest with chick:
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota):
Cliff Swallow in flight:
Cliff Swallow mud nests:
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis):
Northern Rough-winged Swallow in flight:
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor):
Tree Swallow in flight:
Violet-green Swallow in flight (Tachycineta thalassina):
Vaux’s Swift in flight (Chaetura vauxi):
White-throated Swift in flight (Aeronautes saxatalis):