Swallows are named for the tiny
serrations on it's outermost wing feathers. They are more solitary than
most swallows, and don't form the large nesting colonies seen with
Bank Swallows and other swallow species.
They nest in holes in dirt banks like Bank
Habitat: Near lakes, streams, river banks, bluffs.
Can be found at nearly any type of vertical dirt bank, but most typically
Diet: Feeds almost exclusively on flying insects.
Behavior: Forages primarily while in flight,
capturing flying insects in mid-air, usually relatively low to the ground.
Nesting: Late May and June. The nest of a
Northern Rough-winged Swallow is in a cavity, traditionally a cavity in a tree
or a recessed crevice in a rocky area, but they have now also started to utilize
nest boxes. The nest in the cavity is a cup built of grasses, sedges, and
twigs, lined with feathers. The female usually lays 4 to 6 eggs, and she
alone incubates them. Once the eggs hatch, both parents help to feed the
young. The young fledge after about 24 days, but usually continue to be
fed by the parents for a few weeks after fledging.
Migration: Neotropical migrant, wintering from the extreme southern
U.S. and further south.
Conservation Status: Northern Rough-winged
Swallows are probably more numerous and widespread now than they were
pre-settlement. They've learned to adapt well to a human presence, and
will now use bridges and road cuts for nesting in addition to natural sites.
The IUCN lists the
Northern Rough-winged Swallow as a species of "Least Concern".
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Northern Rough-winged Swallow"
eNature.com: Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Photo Information: July 5th, 2010 - Badlands National
Park in South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Northern Rough-winged