Cliff Swallows are the
species celebrated upon their spring return to the mission in San Juan
Capistrano, California. A very gregarious bird, Cliff Swallows often nest
by the hundreds under bridges, highway overpasses, or sheltered locations on
buildings. Originally building their enclosed mud nests on cliffs,
Cliff Swallows have taken advantage of human structures and have greatly
expanded their range and numbers. The huge Cliff Swallow colonies are
welcomed with open arms by farmers because of the vast quantity of flying
insects they can consume.
be found in nearly any kind of semi-open country in summer in South Dakota, as
long as suitable nesting locations are nearby.
Diet: Primarily flying insects,
occasionally other insects. Will also eat berries and fruit.
Behavior: Primarily feeds while in flight, most
often by catching flying insects, but also by plucking insects from
vegetation surfaces. Gregarious, often foraging in large groups.
Nesting: June and July
Song: Long thin rattling and buzzing.
Migration: Summers throughout much of North America.
Winters in Central and South America.
Conservation Status: Has likely substantially increased in both
range and numbers in North America, as they have readily adapted to the use
of man-made structures for nesting.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Cliff Swallow"
eNature.com: Cliff Swallow
Photo Information: July 2008 - Minnehaha County -
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Cliff Swallow photos.