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Jun 15, 2015

Close family interaction

Photograph: NPL / Rex Shutterstock
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica
Here's a tight little trio of Barn Swallows, located in Uto, Finland, just off the southern tip of Finland, in the Baltic Sea.   The parent is feeding two chicks that are the same size as it.   Barn Swallows are the most widespread species of swallows in the world, breeding as far north as the Arctic Circle and migrating as far south as South Africa, in the eastern hemisphere: for some, a journey of close to 12,000 kilometres (one way).   The Barn Swallow is the national bird of Austria and Estonia.   As a child, living on my grandfather's farm for one year, I would watch Barn Swallows flying through the open doors of my grandfather's stables and pens, above the cows, pigs and horses. It occurs to me, only now, 60 years later, that he must have had to assure himself that the nesting Barn Swallows were in their nests, with their eggs or fledglings, before he closed the barn doors each evening.
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