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Meet the Northern Rough-Winged Swallow July 13, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Birds, Louisa County, Nature.
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Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Louisa County is home to every species of North American swallow except the Cave Swallow and Violet-green Swallow. The swallow in this picture is a Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Tree Swallows and Bank Swallows look similar but have a dusky or dark band across their chests.

According to the Cornell University bird site, their wings really are rough. Tiny hooks on the leading edge of the wing feel like a course file if you run your finger over them. The swallows make a sound that reminds me of grasshoppers and babies blowing bubbles. You can hear it for yourself by clicking here.

This swallow and a juvenile that was perched nearby live under a bridge near the Song Sparrow I introduced to you last week. Since they eat insects, they’re only here for the summer. Come fall they’ll strike out for Central America.

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