Tree Swallow: Medium-sized swallow with iridescent blue-green upperparts and white underparts. The wings are dark gray and tail is dark and forked. Black bill, legs and feet. Swift, graceful flight, alternates slow, deep wing beats with short or long glides. Turns back sharply on insects it passes.
Range and Habitat
Tree Swallow: Breeds from Alaska east through northern Manitoba to Newfoundland and south to California, Colorado, Nebraska, and Maryland. Spends winters north to southern California, the Gulf Coast, and the Carolinas. Preferred habitats include open areas near water, such as fields, marshes, meadows, shorelines, beaver ponds, and wooded swamps with standing dead trees.
The Tree Swallow has a large range, estimated globally at 12,000,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and nearby island nations, this bird prefers inland wetland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 20,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Tree Swallow is Least Concern.
The Tree Swallow was first described in 1808 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French Ornithologist.
It winters farther north than any other American swallow, and it returns to its nesting grounds long before other swallows come back.
They are known to "fight" over feathers in mid-air for reasons which are still under investigation. There is some speculation that this is a form of play.
A group of tree swallows are known collectively as a "stand" of swallows.