Cliff Swallow

Hirundo pyrrhonota

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  • Cliff Swallow |  Photo: Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS
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Cliff Swallow Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Passeriformes

Family

Hirundinidae

Size

Cliff Swallows are generally between 4.9 and 5.2 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 12 years

Weight

Cliff Swallow (Hirundo pyrrhonota) facts, habitat, range, swallow pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the songbird.

Diet

insects

Behavior

Aerial Forager

Range

Migratory: Nationwide

Nest Placement

Cliff

Number of Offspring

3–6 Eggs

Egg Description

Cream white sometimes with brown specks

Condition at Hatching

Feeble, pink skin, tiny

Social Status

Colonies

Wingspan

11-12 in

What does the Cliff Swallow look like?

Cliff Swallows are stocky songbirds that have broad pointed wings, small heads and squared tails. They have metallic gray uppers and paler gray lowers, a white patch on the forehead, and a rich pumpkin throat. Juveniles are similar to adults, but much duller in coloration.

Cliff Swallow Habitat

Lakes-Ponds

Cliff Swallow Facts

Cliff Swallows are extremely social songbirds. They are often seen in colonies of hundreds of nests, but can form in the thousands. They primarily eat insects that they catch in flight. They build mud nests in a variety of places, including their namesake, cliffs, but also under bridges and on other man made structures. Cliff Swallows are regular prey to various raptors, snakes and domestic cats.

See also