I found these beautiful cobalt blue Barn Swallows taking a break from zipping around over the open field and pond I was hiking past. They seem to just glisten in the sunshine! You can easily identify them from their long, deeply forked tail.
The Barn Swallow winters in the Southern Hemisphere and breeds throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed and abundant swallow species in the world!
They will fly just a few inches above the water or ground to find insects. Their diet consists of mostly flies, but they will also eat bees, ants, moths and beetles. THey will also eat small pebbles, oyster shells and grit, which is either to give them calcium or helps them to digest their food.
Once the Barn Swallows used to nest in caves throughout North America, but now the only ones that still use caves are the population that live on the Channel Islands off the coast of California. The rest of the population all build their nests on human-made structures.