1. Where do Barn Swallows Nest?



    1. To find out whether swallows continue to nest in the natural environment.
    2. To compile a map of the nest distribution of various subspecies of barn swallow, when compared to the areas of dense human population.

    Research question

    Do the barn swallows still nest in the wild or do they prefer man-made structures?


    • A camera or a camera on a mobile device
    • Bird-identifier
    • Binoculars

    Why use data from multiple participants?

    The large number of participants from different regions will yield multiple data about nesting habits of the barn swallows. Once we map the barn swallows' nesting sites, we can see how they are influenced by the weather conditions and density of human population.

    Investigation Protocol

      1. Find either an individual nest or a colony of several nests of barn swallows.
      2. Take a picture (photo) of the nest (or several nests if they were built on different objects).
      3. Fill out a separate Report Form for every type of the nest you found.
      4. Try to take pictures of both adult birds and young fledglings to increase the accuracy of species identification.

      5. Read More
        A barn swallow is one of the most widespread and well-researched types of birds. They are quite attractive, highly-colored birds, mostly blue-black with maroon (chestnut) spots on their heads (forehead and throat). The barn swallow's deeply forked and curved tail with its long outer steering feathers looks like a braid. That is why in some languages (for example Russian) barn swallows are also known as the 'braided birds' or kasatkas.

        Swallows breed predominantly in Eurasia and North America (except in the far south and far north). Initially, barn swallows' habitats were located in the mountainous regions where they built their clay-pellet nests and attached them to the rocks, trees, and cave walls. Today, however, because barn swallows most often inhabit areas with a significant human populated, they have become a synanthropic species.

        They make their nests under the roofs and overhangs of man-made structures to protect them against the rain. The birds may settle either as separate couples or as a small colony.

    Safety tips

    To prevent harming the birds, please follow these simple rules:

    1. do not climb the trees to make a perfect picture;
    2. make your photos from the ground to prevent disturbing the birds.

    • Project was published on:September 6, 2013
    Report Form Before filling in the Report Form, please read the Investigation Protocol