American Cliff Swallow
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General description.

Sparrow sized, the Cliff Swallow is smaller than the Cave Swallow of the Southwest.

Flight pattern.

Easily identified by its rufous, blue and white markings, the Cliff Swallow swoops and dips, taking insects and water in flight.

Breeding habits.

This ubiquitous bird breeds from Alaska eastward to Nova Scotia and southward throughout most of the United States with the exception of the Southeast.

Calls or song.

The Cliff Swallow emits constant twittering and chattering.

Population and distribution.

The introduction of the House Sparrow has proved problematic for the Cliff Swallow, as it will usurp the swallows' nests causing abandonment of entire colonies. Because of its widespread range of habitat, however, the Cliff Swallow does not seem to be endangered. Cliff Swallows winter in the Tropics.

Nesting habits.

In the West, the Cliff Swallow continues to plaster its nest of mud on cliff sites. However, in the East, it does so under the eaves of barns. The bird produces 4 to 6 white eggs in a gourd-shaped structure of mud, lined with feathers.
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