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The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. It is a bird of open country which normally uses man-made structures to breed and consequently has spread with human expansion. It builds a cup nest from mud pellets in barns or similar structures and feeds on insects caught in flight.
Pairs stay together to breed for life, but extra-pair copulation is common, making this species genetically polygamous, despite being socially monogamous. Males are particularly aggressive and territorial, and guard females actively to avoid being cuckolded. Males may use deceptive alarm calls to disrupt extrapair copulation attempts toward their mates.
Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), Lake Kerkini, Greece, Europe
Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm at 400 mm, 1/160 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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