<< Previous Next >>

Young Barn Swallow

Young Barn Swallow
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-07-10 8:56
Viewed: 3276
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This young Barn Swallow was sitting on the rail of a wooden bridge. I could approach him till about 6 -7 metres.

The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. A distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts, a long, deeply forked tail and curved, pointed wings, it is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

There are six subspecies of Barn Swallow, which breed across the Northern Hemisphere. Four are strongly migratory, and their wintering grounds cover much of the Southern Hemisphere as far south as central Argentina, the Cape Province of South Africa, and northern Australia.

The male Barn Swallow returns to the breeding grounds before the females and selects a nest site, which is then advertised to females with a circling flight and song. The breeding success of the male is related to the length of the tail streamers, with longer streamers being more attractive to the female. Males with longer tail feathers are generally longer-lived and more disease resistant, females thus gaining an indirect fitness benefit from this form of selection, since longer tail feathers indicate a genetically stronger individual which will produce offspring with enhanced vitality. Males in northern Europe have longer tails than those further south; whereas in Spain the male's tail streamers are only 5% longer than the female's, in Finland the difference is 20%. In Denmark, the average male tail length increased by 9% between 1984 and 2004, but it is possible that climatic changes may lead in the future to shorter tails if summers become hot and dry.

Males with long streamers also have larger white tail spots, and since feather-eating bird lice prefer white feathers, large white tail spots without parasite damage again demonstrate breeding quality; there is a positive association between spot size and the number of offspring produced each season.

Both sexes defend the nest, but the male is particularly aggressive and territorial. Once established, pairs stay together to breed for life, but extra-pair copulation is common, making this species genetically polygamous, despite being socially monogamous. Males guard females actively to avoid being cuckolded. Males may use deceptive alarm calls to disrupt extrapair copulation attempts toward their mates.

As its name implies, the Barn Swallow typically nests inside accessible buildings such as barns and stables, or under bridges and wharves. The neat cup-shaped nest is placed on a beam or against a suitable vertical projection. It is constructed by both sexes, although more often by the female, with mud pellets collected in their beaks and lined with grasses, feathers, algae or other soft materials. Barn Swallows may nest colonially where sufficient high-quality nest sites are available, and within a colony, each pair defends a territory around the nest which, for the European subspecies, is four to eight square metres in size.
Colony size tends to be larger in North America.

Before man-made sites became common, the Barn Swallow nested on cliff faces or in caves, but this is now rare. The female lays two to seven, but typically four or five, reddish-spotted white eggs. The eggs are 20 x 14 millimetres in size, and weigh 1.9 grammes , of which 5 percent is shell. In Europe, the female does almost all the incubation, but in North America the male may incubate up to 25% of the time. The incubation period is normally 1419 days, with another 1823 days before the altricial chicks fledge. The fledged young stay with, and are fed by, the parents for about a week after leaving the nest. Occasionally, first-year birds from the first brood will assist in feeding the second brood.

The Barn Swallow will mob intruders such as cats or accipiters that venture too close to their nest, often flying very close to the threat. Adult Barn Swallows have few predators, but some are taken by accipiters, falcons, and owls. Brood parasitism by cowbirds in North America or cuckoos in Eurasia is rare.

There are normally two broods, with the original nest being reused for the second brood and being repaired and reused in subsequent years. Hatching success is 90% and the fledging survival rate is 7090%. Average mortality is 7080% in the first year and 4070% for the adult. Although the record age is more than 11 years, most survive less than four years.

Source: Wikipedia

maurydv, Argus, bahadir, xTauruSx, zulfu, nasokoun, nglen, boreocypriensis, cirano, cloud, jaycee, oscarromulus, Luis52, CeltickRanger, siggi, albert, Noisette, anel has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Lindisima toma, que bella ave, te felicito.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-07-10 9:17]

Hello Peter
Nice capture of a cute little bird. Well done.

Hello Peter,
a beautiful picture of the Barn Swallow taken in a lovely pose with good sharpness and beautiful natural colours, well composed.
Have a good weekend

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2009-07-10 9:48]

Very nice photo from this young bird!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-07-10 9:52]

Hello Peter,
A fine capture taken from a great POV with fine colours and clarity against a superb contrasting OOF natural Bg to make this a nice portrait of a juvenile Barn Swallow.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Hello Peter, beautiful shot of this lovely swallow with nice composition.
TFS and regards,

Great shot this beautiful swallow with nice composition Peter.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-07-10 10:30]

Hello Peter, wonderful shot of this beautiful swallow with lovely pose.
TFS and G's,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-07-10 10:54]

Hi Peter. This is a fine close up of the Young Barn Swallow . Which you have taken with fine detail and sharp focusing. Your use of the light has given natural colours in the new feathers. All with interesting notes. well done tFS,

Have a nice weekend.

  • Great 
  • Grebe (22)
  • [2009-07-10 10:56]

Hi Peter!
This is a beautiful picture of my favourite bird!

hello Peter
beautiful scene and pose of this pretty small guy,great POV and DOF with very fine colours,very fine capture
TFS thanks for sharing

Hi MF Peter,
The diagonal composition, the soft focus on the swalow's eye, the colour-pattern, and optimum tech settings make this a very successful posting.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-07-10 12:46]

Hi Peter,i like a lot the position of the light in this pic,there is a magic effect inside! Excellent sharpness,not easy whit a bird so little!My best compliments,have a nice day,LUCIANO.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-07-10 13:07]

Slav Peter,
Good capture of this innocent little bird with fine sharpness and naturel colors.
Thanks for sharing,regards.

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-07-10 13:12]

Hello Peter,
i know that to take good shot a bird isn't so easy. Your bird have good pose, composition also like me. Sharpness isn't exact maybe photo was taken from handhold.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-07-10 16:23]

Hi Peter,

I have only come across Barn Swallows twice and each time they were high up in a dark corner in their nests. A wonderful view of this youngster showing off his cute face, sparkling eye and lovely feathers. Colors and details are excellent. A perfect pose and background.


GREAT notes.
The image is MOST lovely.
Greetings from Canada from Mario.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-07-10 16:54]

Hola Peter.
Nice photo. The Swallow looks a little sad. probably soon he has to go away from Your place.
TFS My friend.

hello Peter

beautiful photo of the Young Barn Swallow, fine POV & DOF,
excellent sharpness and details, beautiful background, TFS


Hi Peter

Good shot of this young swallow. Good pose and composition.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-07-11 0:55]

Hello Peter,
great image of Barn Swallow , a nice portrait of young. Good details, blur BG, well manage colors.
Very good work.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-07-11 1:54]

Superb macro !

Uitstekende vangst!
Opasare speelde zo weinig en zo ... geweldig!
Mijn felicitaties.
Een mooie dag,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-07-11 3:43]

Hi Pter,
a cute little bird with such nice pattern on its feather.
The BG is smooth making it more lovely.
A very details shot with pleasant diagonal composition.
Beautiful shot.


Ciao Peter, beautiful diagonal composition with lovely bird in nice pose, splendid colors, wonderful details and excellent sharpness, lovely blurry BG, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao Peter. Nice and tender taken for good colours and interesting compo.


Hi Peter
Very nice image, good POV and natural colors wel done

Hello Peter,
Good capture and great diagonal composition,nice details on its new feathers
Well done

hallo Peter
super schot
zo mooi,om te zien hoe hij er uit ziet
het is altijd te ver om hem goed te kunnen zien
een Beauty
groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2009-07-11 8:24]

wonderful bird, very good sharp and detail. Good work!

Hi Peter,

What fantastic capture of this beautiful little bird.
Nice details and colors.
I like the soft bg too.
Good notes.
Well done.


Hello Peter
You made a beautiful shot of this elegant Swallow, very clear and sharp picture with fine details on his plumage
excellent colors and wonderful green BG where highlights the bird very nicely
Have a great sunday

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-07-12 13:35]

Hello Peter,

Your capture is beautiful! Very cute!!!
The position of the bird is naturel!


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-06-27 4:45]

Hello Peter,
I turned back a year in your gallery to have a look at your older pictures and I found this very cute Barn-Swallow which is a bird very difficult to photograph on such a near distance. Lucky you and you made a very fine and charming picture.
Thanks and kind regards. A nice Sunday afternoon too!

Calibration Check