Barn swallows nest throughout the refuge/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

Aerial acrobats, swallows catch insects on the wing. Swallows have long pointed wings and short broad mouths to aid in the hunt. Several species of swallows breed in the refuge.

  • Barn Swallow

    barn swallows are reddish-brown below and shiny blue on the top/Photo Courtesy of Rollin Bannow

    Easy to recognize by its long forked tail, the barn swallow is a common site. Barn swallows nest in or on buildings throughout the refuge.

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  • Purple Martin

    The male purple martin is a glossy dark purple in color/Photo Courtesy of JJ Cadiz

    Martins are large, powerful swallows that often hunt high above fields and open areas.

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  • Tree Swallow

    Tree swallows are deep bule above and white below/Photo Courtesy of Rollin Bannow

    One of the first swallows to return to the refuge in spring, the tree swallow has an iridescent blue above and white below. Tree swallow are often found hunting low over waterways throughout the refuge.

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  • Violet-green Swallow

    The violet-green swallow has a white bow-tie on its rump/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

    These swallow tend to fly higher than other swallows. You may not be able to see the violet and green color, but the distinctive white bow-tie on its rear is a good clue that you’ve found one of these energetic birds.

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