Iowa’s Swallows

Proverbs 26:
1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
There are not many families of birds seen in Iowa that we can say every regular species has been in our yard. But we can say this of all six Iowa’s Swallows.

Tree Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow
(Perched on box. Female Tree Swallow in box)

Barn Swallows
Two nearly fledged young on our front porch

Bank Swallow

Cliff Swallow

And lastly…  (Don’t let the name fool you; this is the largest North American Swallow.)

Purple Martins Male and two female/immature Martins

Purple Martins
Adult male and two female/immature Martins

Two other swallows (Cave and Violet-green) have been recorded in Iowa, but these are accidental species, not regular breeders or migrants.

For those who do not know birding lingo, I should explain “accidental” to you.  There are different degrees of rarity with bird sightings. I will use the terminology found on the IOU website, since I am in Iowa.

  • Regular- seen every or nearly every year (minimum 8 years of last 10)
  • Casual- seen at least 3-8years in the last 10 years
  • Accidental- seen less than four of the last 10 years.

Now it seems their definition of Casual and Accidental overlap, but I do not know all the details of record keeping.  :).

Categories: bird facts, di fekkel, Iowa