Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bank Swallow

The other new swallow I saw at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah last Saturday was the bank swallow. It is also found in portions of Africa, Europe and Asia where it is variously known as the sand martin, European sand martin and collared sand martin. 
It appears gray in this photo because it was taken early in the morning in poor light. 

The bank swallow is brown above, white below, has a narrow brown band on the chest, a white ring (or also described as swoosh) around the neck, a small black bill and brown legs.
A gulp of bank swallows standing in the large grass. 

The term bank comes from "river bank" and Linnaeus described it living in Europe in "winding holes in sheer sandy holes" which is where the term sand martin is derived. 
This appears to be a juvenile with downier feathers. 

The map shows that in North and South America it winters in all of South America but the southern tip (blue below), it breeds and spends the summers in the northern U.S. and Canada (orange below) and migrates between (yellow below).  
Distribution map from Wikipedia. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is an impressive array of birds on the grasses. I love the phrase "gulp of swallows." Did you make that up?