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 Barn Swallow

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Barn Swallow.

Use the links below to view the Barn Swallow reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Barn Swallow sightings.
Barn Swallow Archives Reports
Fall 2003 29
Spring 2003 205
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 41
Summer 2002 30
Spring 2002 172
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 1308
Summer 2001 24
Spring 2001 84
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 311
Summer 2000 21
Spring 2000 117
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 50
Spring/Summer 1999 13

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Barn Swallow

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Barn Swallow
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Barn Swallow
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Hirundo rustica erythrogaster Boddaert
Barn Swallow

Common summer resident.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 416).

SPRING.-The main flight is reported in May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 110, 192, 205), the main flight begins on the average on April 25. At Detroit Swales (1904: 37; and notes) recorded small numbers by the third week in April (15 on April 20,2023), and larger numbers later (200 on April 27,2023). In the Ann Arbor region the species arrived as early as April 7 in 1929, but there, as well as around Battle Creek (Walkinshaw, 1941: 120; and notes) and in Kalamazoo County (Gibbs, 1885 : 55 ; and-for Vicksburg-P. W. Rapp, 1931: 26), the Barn Swallow has usually arrived in the second and third weeks of April. Gibbs found it common in Kalamazoo County by May 1. D. W. Douglass reported arrival (1 bird) at Sand Point, Huron County, on April 13 in 1933, but usually the species does not reach that area until the end of April; it is common there during the May flights of swallows.

Upper Peninsula.-At McMillan, Luce County (Bryens, 19406; 60; and notes), the Barn Swallow has arrived nearly always in the last week or 10 days of April; and although it commonly arrives at Blaney, Schoolcraft County (Christofferson), at about the same time, it is frequently rather late there. Arrival was recorded on May 9 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 184), and on May 4 in 1931 at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County (N. A. Wood, 1933: 727).

SUMMER.-Eggs are reported by late May, and nestlings have been found as late as the latter half of August.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit area Swales (1904: 37) listed the Barn Swallow as an " extremely abundant summer resident.'' Nest records from Ann Arbor and vicinity include 1 with 5 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) found on May 27, 1936, and 1 the same year with 5 eggs on June 14. N. A. "Wood (1922: 24) listed this swallow as a common summer resident in Berrien County; F. W. Rapp (1931: 26) recorded a nest with 2 eggs in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, as early as May 9 (1896) and another as late as June 11 (1902, nest with 5 eggs). The species was found breeding in northwestern Huron County (N. A. Wood and Gaige, 1911: 294-95) and on Charity Island (N. A. Wood, 1912ft: 187). A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case found it breeding on South Fox Island (1939) and on North and South Manitou islands (1940), Leelanau County. In Charlevoix County, Barrows (1904: 80) found the species abundant at St. James on Beaver Island in early July, 1904, and Van Tyne (1925: 624) listed it as numerous on the adjoining mainland in the summer of 1923. In the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have re- corded eggs from June 24 to July 25, and nestlings as late as August 9.

Upper Peninsula.-In Mackinac County, Van Tyne (1923: 24) listed the Barn Swallow as an abundant breeder (on Les Cheneaux Islands, 1917 to 1921) , and Christofferson banded 4 nestlings (near Gould City) on August 20, 1930. The earliest that Bryens has recorded the species nesting at McMillan, Luce County, is June 2 (1929). N. A. Wood (1918: 12) recorded 2 nests from northwestern Alger County in 1916: 1 in the process of construction, June 7, 1 with 4 young, June 25. In the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, both Christy (1925: 214) and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 184), listed the Barn Swallow as a common summer resident; in the last week of June, 1936, Van Tyne recorded both nestlings and full-winged young there.

N. A. Wood (1933: 727) found 2 pairs nesting near Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, in 1931; Max M. Peet (1909: 369) recorded 6 nests on Isle Royale in 1905, including 1, with 4 young nearly ready to leave, on August 17.

FALL.-The main flight is reported in the Upper Peninsula during August, and in southern counties during August and early September.

Upper Peninsula.-The species has remained in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 184) until as late as September 2. Bryeus (1940&; 60; and notes) has recorded it at McMillan, Luce County, in the first week of September and occasionally until the middle of the month. A large flock, possibly migrant, was observed on August 7, 1912, at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914:69) .

Lower Peninsula.-Migrants were recorded at Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, from August 4 to 14 in 1911 (N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates, 1916:16) ; and 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected there by Max M. Peet on September 7,1939. In 1911 flocks were reported on Charity Island, Huron County, from August 4 to the end of the month (N. A. Wood and Gaige, 1911: 294-95; N. A. Wood, 1911:104). Gibbs (1885: 55) found the species common in Kalamazoo County until August 15, and F. W. Rapp (1931: 26) recorded individuals there (at Vicksburg) until September 16. Individuals are sometimes found in the Ann Arbor region, as well as about Detroit (Swales, 1904: 37; and notes), until the last few days of September. Swales' records include "immense numbers" at the St. Clair Flats on August 13 (1895), and 25 birds near Detroit on September 15 (1906). In the Toledo- Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940:110,192, 205), flocking begins about July 4; the main flight ends on the average by September 15; the last stragglers leave by late October.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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