Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow


metal engraving/etching
By J. J. Audubon.

text from the plate

Barn Swallow.

Hirundo americana.


"The flight of this species is not less interesting than any other of its characteristics. It probably surpasses in speed that of any other species of the feathered tribes, excepting the Humming Bird. In fine calm weather their circuits are performed at a considerable elevation, with a lightness and ease that are truly admirable. They play over the river, the field, or the city with equal grace, and during spring and summer you might imagine their object was to fill the air around them with their cheerful twitterings….On the ground the movements of this Swallow are by no means awkward, although, when compared with those of other birds, they seem rather hampered. It walks by very short steps, and aids itself with its wings. Should it be necessary to remove to the distance of a few yards, it prefers flying."