A Sword and a Stand of Swallows


Violet-green Swallow - Jeff Wendorff PhotographerOne of the official collective nouns for swallows in general is “sord”. Well I had to look up sord to make sure it wasn’t a typo for “sword”. It wasn’t, its an old English word for flight. I think however that a “Sword of Swallows” is far more clever and hereby officially declare a new collective noun for the Violet-green Swallows!

These two species are quite close in appearance and if it were not for my handy iBird app, I would have goofed on this one. The Violet-green Swallow has white patches that extend further onto the sides of the rump, a white area that extends behind and over the eye and greener upperparts.

In case you were curious about a Stand of Tree Swallows:

  • The Tree Swallow was first described in 1808 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French Ornithologist.
  • They are known to “fight” over feathers in mid-air for reasons which are still under investigation. There is some speculation that this is a form of play.
  • It winters farther north than any other American swallow, and it returns to its nesting grounds long before other swallows come back.

Some trivia about the Sword of Violet-green Swallows:

  • The Violet-green Swallow was first described in 1827 by William Swainson, a British naturalist.
  • A pair was observed assisting a pair of Western Bluebirds in raising young. The swallows guarded the nest and tended the bluebird nestlings, and after they fledged, used the nest site for their own young.

These are a few more images from my very productive trip to Colorado.

Bird Photography Portfolio – Swallows

Learn more cool things about swallows and thei kin from around the world on swallow portfolio page. You can simply enjoy the images, or buy a print ot license them for your own purposes. Just Ask!

 

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