Cave Swallow: Small swallow (Southwest pelodoma), with steel-blue upperparts, white underparts, rufous wash on breast and sides. Forehead is chestnut-brown and throat and rump are buff. Tail is square. Swift, graceful flight, alternates several rapid, deep wing beats with long curving glides.
Range and Habitat
Cave Swallow: Breeds in southern Texas, southeastern New Mexico, and rarely in southern Arizona. Spends winters in tropics. Preferred habitats include open country near caves and cliffs.
The Cave Swallow is currently rated as Least Concern, downgraded from Lower Risk in 2000. The range of this species is large, covering an area of more than 300,000 square kilometers. The population of the Cave Swallow is nearing 9 million individual birds. The Cave Swallow is native to the Caribbean, North America and Central America. There is not currently any reason to be believe that the Cave Swallow population is in danger or facing decrease.
Cave Swallows often have their nests in places with minimal light, so it appears they locate their nests by flying past the nest site and then turning toward the nest, offering them a better vantage point.
One of the largest colonies makes its home in Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, where they co-exist with Mexican free-tailed bats.
Their population growth may be related to the use of cement I-beams in highway construction. The undersides of these beams provide an environment similar to the traditional limestone cave nesting sites.
A group of swallows has many collective nouns, including a "gulp", "herd", "kettle", "richness", and "sord" of swallows.