Guide House of Swallows

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The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. .. However, in Europe, the barn swallow consumes fewer aphids than the house or sand martins. On the wintering grounds, Hymenoptera, especially.
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Be the first to ask a question about House of the Swallows. Lists with This Book. May 18, Elisa Rolle added it. Irdun is a whore in a up-class brothel. It would be not a bad life if not for the fact that the island where they live probably will soon destroyed by a vulcan, but the man who owns Irdun's doesn't want to leave the island and with him he forces all his whores to stay. Thissol is Irdun's favorite customer, a jewel smith: He will be glad to pay for Irdun's contract, but doing so he will loose all his money and Irdun doesn't wan Irdun is a whore in a up-class brothel.

He will be glad to pay for Irdun's contract, but doing so he will loose all his money and Irdun doesn't want that this happens. The book is really short, 27 pages, and it consists mainly of two scenes, but there is also a little mystery: Will the young whore be able to save his life and running away with Thissol? The parallelism between past and present is really nice and follows the reader till the end, mounting an anticipation that will be free only at the very end.

Very nice short story, and as in other books I read by this author, when she is dealing with stories setting in this fantasy world with an arabian flavor, there is also more eroticism than in the other universe the water lovers.

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Preparing for an epic autumn journey

I noticed that in this short story she simplified the plot, not using all the fantasy words I was used to: Nov 23, Erica Pike rated it really liked it Shelves: I want to give this story three stars, because the excavation parts in the middle felt irrelevant in all but one places though it could have been skipped, but I understood it was there to create suspense. However, skipping past the excavation parts, this was a really good story and I'm going to read it again. Peggy rated it liked it Mar 12, Risa rated it it was ok Apr 07, Serena Yates rated it liked it Nov 27, Stevie rated it really liked it Apr 02, Carrie Jastrzab rated it liked it Mar 13, Nijin rated it liked it Aug 01, Michi Rosa rated it really liked it Mar 08, Mashkai rated it liked it Dec 01, Arlene rated it really liked it Aug 08, This is because larger insects are too far away from the nest to be profitable in terms of energy expenditure.

Isotope studies have shown that wintering populations may utilise different feeding habitats, with British breeders feeding mostly over grassland, whereas Swiss birds utilised woodland more. The barn swallow drinks by skimming low over lakes or rivers and scooping up water with its open mouth. Swallows gather in communal roosts after breeding, sometimes thousands strong. Reed beds are regularly favoured, with the birds swirling en masse before swooping low over the reeds.

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. In other populations, [44] 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 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.

The breeding season of the barn swallow is variable; in the southern part of the range, the breeding season usually is from February or March to early to mid September, although some late second and third broods finish in October. In the northern part of the range, it usually starts late May to early June and ends the same time as the breeding season of the southernmost birds. Both sexes defend the nest, but the male is particularly aggressive and territorial.

As its name implies, the barn swallow typically nests inside accessible buildings such as barns and stables, or under bridges and wharves. 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 [53] or other soft materials.

Colony size tends to be larger in North America. In North America at least, barn swallows frequently engage in a mutualist relationship with ospreys. Barn swallows will build their nest below an osprey nest, receiving protection from other birds of prey that are repelled by the exclusively fish-eating ospreys. The ospreys are alerted to the presence of these predators by the alarm calls of the swallows.


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There are normally two broods, with the original nest being reused for the second brood and being repaired and reused in subsequent years. The female lays two to seven, but typically four or five, reddish-spotted white eggs.

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The incubation period is normally 14—19 days, with another 18—23 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.

How to Use Hironbec Pendulums to Protect Nesting Tree Swallows from House Sparrows

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. Brood parasitism by cowbirds in North America or cuckoos in Eurasia is rare.

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Although the record age is more than 11 years, most survive less than four years. An experiment in manipulating brood size and immune system showed the vividness of the gape was positively correlated with T-cell—mediated immunocompetence, and that larger brood size and injection with an antigen led to a less vivid gape.

The barn swallow has been recorded as hybridising with the cliff swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota and the cave swallow P. Barn swallows and other small passerines often have characteristic feather holes on their wing and tail feathers. These holes were suggested as being caused by avian lice such as Machaerilaemus malleus and Myrsidea rustica , although other studies suggest that they are mainly caused by species of Brueelia. Several other species of lice have been described from barn swallow hosts, including Brueelia domestica and Philopterus microsomaticus.

Predatory bats such as the greater false vampire bat are known to prey on barn swallows. Falcon species confirmed as predators include the peregrine falcon [63] and the African hobby. This is a species that has greatly benefited historically from forest clearance, which has created the open habitats it prefers, and from human habitation, which have given it an abundance of safe man-made nest sites.

There have been local declines due to the use of DDT in Israel in the s, competition for nest sites with house sparrows in the US in the 19th century, and an ongoing gradual decline in numbers in parts of Europe and Asia due to agricultural intensification, reducing the availability of insect food. However, there has been an increase in the population in North America during the 20th century with the greater availability of nesting sites and subsequent range expansion, including the colonisation of northern Alberta. A specific threat to wintering birds from the European populations is the transformation by the South African government of a light aircraft runway near Durban into an international airport for the FIFA World Cup.

The reed bed lies on the flight path of aircraft using the proposed La Mercy airport, and there were fears that it would be cleared because the birds could threaten aircraft safety. Climate change may affect the barn swallow; drought causes weight loss and slow feather regrowth, and the expansion of the Sahara will make it a more formidable obstacle for migrating European birds. Hot dry summers will reduce the availability of insect food for chicks. Conversely, warmer springs may lengthen the breeding season and result in more chicks, and the opportunity to use nest sites outside buildings in the north of the range might also lead to more offspring.


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The barn swallow is an attractive bird that feeds on flying insects and has therefore been tolerated by humans when it shares their buildings for nesting. As one of the earlier migrants, this conspicuous species is also seen as an early sign of summer's approach. In the Old World , the barn swallow appears to have used man-made structures and bridges since time immemorial.

An early reference is in Virgil 's Georgics 29 BC , " Ante garrula quam tignis nidum suspendat hirundo " Before the twittering swallow hangs its nest from the rafters. Many cattle farmers believed that swallows spread Salmonella infections, however a study in Sweden showed no evidence of the birds being reservoirs of the bacteria. Many literary references are based on the barn swallow's northward migration as a symbol of spring or summer.

The proverb about the necessity for more than one piece of evidence goes back at least to Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics: The barn swallow symbolises the coming of spring and thus love in the Pervigilium Veneris , a late Latin poem. In his poem " The Waste Land ", T. Eliot quoted the line "Quando fiam uti chelidon [ut tacere desinam]?

The swallow is cited in several of William Shakespeare 's plays for the swiftness of its flight, with "True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings" from Act 5 of Richard III , and "I have horse will follow where the game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. Shakespeare references the annual migration of the species in The Winter's Tale , Act 4: Gilbert White studied the barn swallow in detail in his pioneering work The Natural History of Selborne , but even this careful observer was uncertain whether it migrated or hibernated in winter.

Such an act might lead to cows giving bloody milk, or no milk at all, or to hens ceasing to lay. Survival, with suitable annual refurbishment, for 10—15 years is regular, and one nest was reported to have been occupied for 48 years. It is depicted as the Martlet , Merlette or Merlot in heraldry , where it represents younger sons who have no lands.

It is also represented as lacking feet as this was a common belief at the time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A migratory passerine bird, and the most widspread species of swallow. Recording of barn swallows. Swallows can sometimes squeeze in three broods of nestlings in a year and those youngsters which fledge later will fly south without their parents. Swallows winter in southern Africa where they roost in huge flocks in reed-beds.

BBC Nature - How to identify swallows, swifts and martins

Their winter home was first confirmed in when a swallow ringed at a nest in Staffordshire was recovered in Natal in December of that year. For the inexperienced young swallow, this will be a harsh test of survival. Very few birds ringed in Europe have been recovered in Africa and it could be that they spend much of their time hawking insects very high over central African forests.