Cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Swallows (Hirundinidae)

Code 4

CLSW

Code 6

PETPYR

ITIS

Egg Color:

Creamy white to light pink marked with brown



Number of Eggs:

3 - 6



Incubation Days:

14 - 16



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

Under eaves of buildings, under dams or bridges or in canyon ridges.



Nest Material:

Pellets of clay or mud lined with grasses, down, and feathers.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Cliff Swallow: Small, stocky swallow with dark blue-gray upperparts, pale orange-brown rump and buff underparts. Forehead is white or buff while throat and sides of face are orange-brown. Tail is dark and squared. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is duller.

Range and Habitat

Cliff Swallow: This species breeds throughout North America from subarctic Alaska, Ontario, and Nova Scotia southward throughout most of U.S., with the exception of the southeastern states, and into Mexico. They spend winters in the tropics. Its preferred habitats include open country near buildings or cliffs, lakeshores, and marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Cliff Swallow: Three to six brown marked, creamy white to light pink eggs are laid in a gourd-shaped nest made of mud, lined with feathers, and built on a sheltered cliff or under an eave. Incubation ranges from 14 to 16 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Cliff Swallow: Diet consists almost entirely of insects, but will occasionally gorge on berries; forages in flight.

Vocalization

Cliff Swallow: Emits constant, squeaky chattering and twittering.

Similar Species

Cliff Swallow: Cave Swallow has darker forehead and paler throat.

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X