Bank Swallow

Riparia riparia

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Swallows (Hirundinidae)

Code 4

BANS

Code 6

RIPRIP

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Bank Swallow, also known as the Sand Martin, has a very large breeding range of 28.9 million square kilometers. It breeds in a variety of habitats along rivers and other wetlands in Alaska, Canada, much of the northern and western United States, Europe, parts of the Middle East, central Asia, Russia, and northern Mongolia, and parts of northern China. It winters in a variety of open habitats in parts of Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and South America. The estimated population of this bird species is about 50 million, and it has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Bank Swallow: Small swallow with brown upperparts, and a brown breast band seperating white underparts from white throat and chin. Tail is notched. Brown legs, feet. The smallest North American swallow. Swift, erratic flight, alternating several shallow, rapid wing beats with short to long glides.

 

Range and Habitat

Bank Swallow: Breeds from Alaska across northern Canada south to California, Texas, Virginia and North Carolina. Spends winters in the tropics and the in parts of Europe. Generally found near water, both during breeding and in migration. Preferred habitats include riverbanks, creeks, seashores and lakes.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"pret", "trit-trit"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Most pairs in breeding colonies lay their eggs at the same time so that they will be feeding nestlings at the same time. This means there will be a large number of adults searching for swarms of insects, which makes it more likely they will find them.
  • The scientific name of the Bank Swallow, Riparia, means “riverbank.”
  • This species originally nested in the steep, sandy banks of rivers but have adapted to using many different man-made excavations.
  • A group of bank swallows are known collectively as a "foreclosure" of swallows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X