The chimney swift is a bird belonging to the swift family Apodidae. A member of the genus Chaetura, it is related to both the Vaux's swift and the Chapman's swift, it has no subspecies. The chimney swift is a medium-sized, sooty gray bird with long, slender wings and short legs. Like all swifts, it is incapable of perching, can only cling vertically to surfaces; the chimney swift feeds on flying insects, but on airborne spiders. It mates for life, it builds a bracket nest of twigs and saliva stuck to a vertical surface, always a human-built structure a chimney. The female lays 4–5 white eggs; the altricial young hatch after 19 days and fledge a month later. The average chimney swift lives 4.6 years. When Carl Linnaeus first described the chimney swift in 1758, he named it Hirundo pelagica, believing it to be a swallow; this misconception continued well into the 1800s, with ornithologists calling it "American Swallow" or "Chimney Swallow". In 1825, James Francis Stephens moved this and other small, short-tailed New World swifts to the genus Chaetura, where it has since remained, although some authorities in the 1800s assigned it to a variety of now obsolete genera.
It has no subspecies. The chimney swift's closest relative is Vaux's swift. Scientists believe that the two species evolved from a common ancestor, forced to North America's southeastern and southwestern corners by glacial advances. Separated for millennia by vast ice sheets, the survivors evolved into two species which are still separated by a wide gap across the continent's midsection, it is closely related to the Chapman's swift. The chimney swift's genus name, Chaetura, is a combination of two Ancient Greek words: chaite, which means "bristle" or "spine", oura which means "tail"; this is an apt description of the bird's tail, as the shafts of all ten tail feathers end in sharp, protruding points. The specific name pelagica is derived from the Greek word pelagikos, which means "of the sea"; this is thought to be a reference to its nomadic lifestyle rather than to any reference to the sea, a theory strengthened by the assignment of the specific name pelasgia to the same species by other ornithologists.
Its common name refers to its speedy flight. This is a medium-sized swift, measuring from 12 to 15 cm in length, with a wingspan of 27 to 30 cm and a weight ranging from 17 to 30 g; the sexes are identical in plumage, though males average heavier than females. The adult's plumage is a dark sooty olive above and grayish brown below, with a paler rump and uppertail covert feathers, a paler throat, its upperparts are the most uniformly colored of all the Chaetura swifts, showing little contrast between back and rump. Its beak is black, as are its legs, its iris is dark brown. Juvenal plumage is similar to that of adults, but with whitish tips to the outer webs of the secondaries and tertials; the chimney swift's wings are slender and long, extending as much as 1.5 in beyond the bird's tail when folded. Its wingtips are pointed, its humerus is quite short, while the bones farther out along the wing are elongated, a combination which allows the bird to flap quickly. In flight, it holds its wings stiffly, alternating between longer glides.
Its flight profile is described as a "cigar with wings"—a description first used by Roger Tory Peterson. Although the bird appears to beat its wings asynchronously during flight and stroboscopic studies have shown that it beats them in unison; the illusion that it does otherwise is heightened by its fast and erratic flight, with many rapid changes of direction. The legs of the chimney swift, like those of all swifts, are short, its feet are small but strong, with short toes that are tipped with sharp, curved claws. The toes are anisodactyl—three forward, one back—like those of most birds, but the chimney swift can swivel its back toe forward to help it get a better grip. Unlike the legs and feet of most birds, those of the chimney swift have no scales, its tail is short and square, measuring only 4.8 to 5.5 cm in length. All ten of its tail feathers have shafts which extend as much as 1.3 cm beyond the vanes, ending in sharp, stiff points. These help the bird to prop itself against vertical surfaces.
The chimney swift has deep set eyes. These are protected by small patches of coarse, bristly feathers, which are located in front of each eye; the swift can change the angle of these feathers. It is far-sighted and, like some birds of prey, this swift is bifoveal: each eye having both a temporal and a central fovea; these are small depressions in the retina where visual acuity is highest, help to make its vision acute. Like most vertebrates, it is able to focus both eyes at once, its bill is small, with a culmen that measures a mere 5 mm in length. However, its gape is huge, extending back below its eyes, allowing the bird to open its mouth widely. Unlike many insectivorous birds, it lacks rictal bristles at the base of the beak; the chimney swi
Greene County, Tennessee
Greene County is a county located on the eastern border of the U. S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 68,831, its county seat is Greeneville, the current county mayor is David Loy Crum. Greene County comprises TN Micropolitan Statistical Area. Greene County developed from the "Nolichucky settlement," established by pioneer Jacob Brown on land leased in the early 1770s from the Cherokee people; the Nolichucky settlement was aligned with the Watauga settlement, centered in modern Elizabethton. After the United States became independent, Greene County was formed in 1783 from the original Washington County, North Carolina, part of the former Washington District; the county is named for Major General Nathanael Greene, a major general in the Continental Army from Rhode Island. John Crockett, father of Davy Crockett, his wife settled in the county near Limestone. Davy Crockett was born there in 1786. At the time, the area was part of the extra-legal state Franklin. Greene County is the home of the oldest college in Tennessee.
Revolutionary War veteran, state legislator, Col. Joseph Hardin made Greene County his home for a period of time, serving as justice of the peace and as one of the original trustees of Tusculum College; as with yeomen farmers in much of East Tennessee, those in Greene County were Unionist and opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Greene Countians voted against secession by a vote of 2,691 to 744. Following the vote, the second session of the East Tennessee Convention convened in Greeneville, it called for a Union-aligned state to be formed in East Tennessee. A railroad bridge near Mosheim was among those destroyed by the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy in November 1861. Several of the conspirators who had taken part in the burning of this bridge were captured and executed by Confederate supporters, including Jacob Hensie, Henry Fry and Henry Harmon, noted local potter Alex Haun. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 624 square miles, of which 622 square miles is land and 2.0 square miles is water.
Most of Greene County is located within the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, a range characterized by long, narrow ridges alternating with similarly-shaped valleys. Bays Mountain, a prominent ridge in this range, forms much of Greene's northern border with Hawkins County; the extreme southeastern part of Greene County is located within the Blue Ridge Mountains a subrange of the Blue Ridge known as the Bald Mountains. This range straddles Greene's border with North Carolina, includes the county's two highest points: Gravel Knob, which rises to over 4,840 feet, 4,844-foot Camp Creek Bald. Greene County is drained by the Nolichucky River; this river is impounded by Nolichucky Dam south of Greeneville. Hawkins County Washington County Unicoi County Madison County, North Carolina Cocke County Hamblen County Andrew Johnson National Cemetery Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Appalachian Trail Cherokee National Forest Bible Covered Bridge State Historic Site Joachim Bible Refuge David Crockett Birthplace State Park Lick Creek Bottoms Wildlife Management Area Nolichucky Wildlife Management Area Rocky Fork State Park Earnest Farms Historic District Greeneville Historic District Maden Hall Farm Members of the county commission are elected by geographic district.
They are as follows: District 1: Baileyton, Cross Anchor, Hardin's & Greeneville Charles Tim White Dale Tucker Wade McAmis District 2: Chuckey, Afton & Jockey. Brad Peters Zachary "Zak" Neas Joshua Arrowood District 3: Tusculum & Afton Sharron Collins Robin Quillen Jason Cobble District 4: Courthouse, Sunnyside and Flag Branch George Clemmer Eddie Jennings Lyle Parton District 5: South Greene, Caney Branch, Middle School & DeBusk Pamela Carpenter Gerald Miller Tim Shelton District 6: Mosheim, Mohawk, McDonald, Mt. Carmel & Warrensburg Frank Waddell Josh Keterson John Waddle District 7: Greeneville, Orebank & Glenwood Harold "Butch" Patterson James Randolph Paul Burkey As of the census of 2000, there were 62,909 people, 25,756 households, 18,132 families residing in the county; the population density was 101 people per square mile. There were 28,116 housing units at an average density of 45 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 96.42% White, 2.11% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, 0.56% from two or more races.
1.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 25,756 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.60% were non-families. 25.80% of all househ
Monroe County, Tennessee
Monroe County is a county located in the U. S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,519, its county seat is Madisonville. During the 18th century and villages of the Overhill Cherokee were scattered along the Little Tennessee River and Tellico River throughout Monroe County; these included Chota and Great Tellico, which at various times were Cherokee principal towns, as well as Citico, Tomotley, Mialoquo and Tallassee. Archaeological excavations at the Citico site suggest the area was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. Artifacts uncovered from the Icehouse Bottom site near Vonore date to as early as 7500 B. C. during the Archaic period. Fort Loudoun was built by the British in 1756 as part of an agreement with the Cherokee. After relations soured between the British and Cherokee in 1760, the Cherokee laid siege to the fort, killed most of its garrison. Monroe County was established in 1819 after the signing of the Calhoun Treaty, in which the Cherokee relinquished claims to lands stretching from the Little Tennessee River south to the Hiwassee River.
The county was named for President James Monroe. Some of the state's first gold mines were located in Monroe County. Placer mining took place on Coker Creek in the early 1830s. Monroe County was one of the few East Tennessee counties to support secession at the outbreak of the Civil War. On June 8, 1861, the county voted in favor of Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession by a margin of 1,096 to 774. In the early 20th century, the Babcock Lumber Company conducted extensive logging operations in the Tellico Plains area. During the same period, the Aluminum Company of America began building a string of dams along the Little Tennessee, among them Calderwood and Cheoah, to power its aluminum smelting operations in nearby Alcoa; the construction of Tellico Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1970s, although staunchly opposed by many Monroe Countians, provided a number of new economic and recreational opportunities. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 653 square miles, of which 636 square miles is land and 17 square miles is water.
The Unicoi Mountains, part of the greater Blue Ridge chain, dominate the southeastern part of the county. The crest of this range marks Monroe's boundaries with the North Carolina counties and Cherokee; the Little Tennessee River flows along Monroe County's border with Blount County to the northeast. Three artificial lakes— Tellico Lake, Chilhowee Lake and Calderwood Lake— occupy this section of the river; the Tellico River, a tributary of the Little Tennessee, drains much of the southwestern part of the county. The Bald River, noted for the scenic Bald River Falls, is a tributary of the Tellico River. Sweetwater Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee River, drains a portion of northern Monroe County. Loudon County Blount County Graham County, North Carolina Cherokee County, North Carolina Polk County McMinn County Bald River Gorge Wilderness Cherohala Skyway Cherokee National Forest Citico Creek Wilderness Fort Loudoun State Park Tellico Blockhouse State Historic Site Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area As of the census of 2000, there were 38,961 people, 15,329 households, 11,236 families residing in the county.
The population density was 61 people per square mile. There were 17,287 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 94.87% White, 2.27% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, 1.26% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 15,329 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.70% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.94. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years.
For every 100 females there were 97.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,337, the median income for a family was $34,902. Males had a median income of $29,621 versus $21,064 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,951. 15.50% of the population and 12.00% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 19.40% of those under the age of 18 and 17.70% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Monroe County Schools serves most of the county for high school. Residents of Sweetwater are served by Sweetwater City Schools for elementary through junior high school. Tennessee Meiji Gakuin High School was located in Sweetwater from 1989 to 2007. A portion of the county is included in the Cherokee National Forest; the Monroe section of the forest includes two federally designated wilderness areas— Citico Creek and Bald River Gorge. The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is located just across the North Carolina border to the east.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located just across the Blount County border to the northeast. The Cherohala Skyway, a national scenic byway, connects Tellico Plains with Robbinsville, North Carolina. Crossing the Unicoi Mountains, the
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun
Cocke County, Tennessee
Cocke County is a county on the eastern border of the U. S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,662, its county seat is Newport. Cocke County comprises the Newport, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area, part of the Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville, Tennessee Combined Statistical Area. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area, now Cocke County was inhabited by the Cherokee, they were the most recent of a series of indigenous cultures who had occupied this country for thousands of years. The first recorded European settlement in the county was in 1783 when land near the fork of the French Broad and the Pigeon Rivers was cleared and cultivated; the earliest European settlers were Scots-Irish and Germans who came to the area over the mountains from the Carolinas or through Virginia from Pennsylvania and other northern states. The county was established by an Act of the Tennessee General Assembly on October 9, 1797, from a part of Jefferson County, Tennessee, it was named for one of the state's first United States Senators.
Located within the Appalachian and Great Smoky Mountains, it had difficult conditions for early settlers. Like many East Tennessee counties, settled by yeomen farmers who owned few if any slaves, Cocke County was pro-Union on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, the county's residents voted 1,185 to 518 against secession. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 443 square miles, of which 435 square miles is land and 8.6 square miles is water. The southern part of the county is located within the Great Smoky Mountains, the lands are protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the northern part of the county is situated within the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. The county's highest point is Old Black, which rises to 6,370 feet in the Smokies along the county's border with North Carolina. English Mountain, a large ridge that peaks at 3,629 feet, dominates the western part of the county. Cocke County is drained by the French Broad River, which traverses the northern part of the county and forms much of its boundary with Jefferson County.
A portion of this river is part of Douglas Lake, an artificial reservoir created by Douglas Dam further downstream. The Pigeon River flows northward across the county and empties into the French Broad north of Newport at Irish Bottoms. Hamblen County Greene County Madison County, North Carolina Haywood County, North Carolina Sevier County Jefferson County Appalachian Trail Cherokee National Forest Foothills Parkway Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rankin Wildlife Management Area Martha Sundquist State Forest I-40 US 25 US 25E US 25W US 321 US 411 SR 32 SR 73 As of the census of 2000, there were 33,565 people, 13,762 households, 9,715 families residing in the county; the population density was 77 people per square mile. There were 15,844 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 96.16% White, 1.99% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, 0.96% from two or more races.
1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 13,762 households out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 13.00% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.40% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.87. In the county, the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males. The median income for a household in the county was $25,553, the median income for a family was $30,418. Males had a median income of $26,062 versus $18,826 for females; the per capita income for the county was $13,881.
About 18.70% of families and 22.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.80% of those under age 18 and 18.70% of those age 65 or over. Newport Parrottsville Wasp Ben W. Hooper, governor of Tennessee from 1911 to 1915 Popcorn Sutton, moonshiner Freddie Combs, Gospel music singer and minister The novel Christy and the television series of the same name are based on historical events and localities of Cocke County; the fictional small town of El Pano, where the novel begins, is based on the existing village of Del Rio, Tennessee. The fictional Cutter Gap, where most of the plot unfolds, represents the locale now known as Chapel Hollow. Several area landmarks associated with the story are marked for visitors, including the site of the Ebenezer Mission in Chapel Hollow, located off the Old Fifteenth Rd. about 5 miles from Del Rio. Like all of Unionist East Tennessee, Cocke County has been overwhelmingly Republican since the Civil War. Since the first postwar election in 1868, Cocke County has voted for every Republican Presidential candidate supporting William Howard Taft during the divided 1912 election.
No Democratic Presidential candidate has managed to receive forty percent of the county's vote in this time, although Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1932 landslide got within 0.23 percent of this figure. National Register of Historic Places listings in Cocke County, Tennessee Goodspeed Publish
The eastern phoebe is a small passerine bird. The genus name Sayornis is constructed from the specific part of Charles Lucien Bonaparte's name for Say's phoebe, Muscicapa saya, Ancient Greek ornis, "bird". Phoebe is an alternative name for the Roman moon-goddess Diana, but it may have been chosen to imitate the bird's call; this tyrant flycatcher breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal United States. It is migratory, it is a rare vagrant to western Europe. This is one of the first birds to return to the breeding grounds in spring and one of the last to leave in the fall, they arrive for breeding in mid-late March, but they return to winter quarters around the same time when other migrant songbirds do, in September and early October. The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated a western range expansion of the eastern phoebe as well as range expansions of many other species of birds.
This species appears remarkably big-headed if it puffs up the small crest. Its plumage is gray-brown above, it has a white throat, dirty gray breast and buffish underparts which become whiter during the breeding season. Two indistinct buff bars are present on each wing, its lack of an eye ring and wingbars, its all dark bill distinguish it from other North American tyrant flycatchers, it pumps its tail up and down like other phoebes when perching on a branch. The eastern phoebe's call is a sharp chip, the song, from which it gets its name, is fee-bee; the eastern wood pewee is similar in appearance. It lacks the buff hue present on the lighter parts of the eastern phoebe's plumage, thus has always defined and contrasting wing-bars, it does not bob its tail habitually, appears on the breeding grounds much though it leaves for winter quarters at about the same time as the eastern phoebe. The breeding habitat of the eastern phoebe is open woodland and suburbs near water; this phoebe is insectivorous, perches conspicuously when seeking food items.
It eats fruits and berries in cooler weather. It nests on human structures such as bridges and buildings. Nesting activity may start as early as the first days of April; the nest is an open cup with a mud base and lined with moss and grass, built in crevice in a rock or man-made site. Both parents feed the young and raise two broods per year; the eastern phoebe is host to the nest-parasitic brown-headed cowbird. Eastern phoebe – Sayornis phoebe – USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter Eastern phoebe species account – Cornell Lab of Ornithology Audio of eastern phoebe song - Songs and calls of some New York State birds "Eastern phoebe media". Internet Bird Collection. Eastern phoebe photo gallery at VIREO Interactive range map of Sayornis phoebe at IUCN Red List maps
The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts and a long forked tail, it is found in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In Anglophone Europe it is just called the swallow. There are six subspecies of barn swallow. Four are migratory, their wintering grounds cover much of the Southern Hemisphere as far south as central Argentina, the Cape Province of South Africa, northern Australia, its huge range means that the barn swallow is not endangered, although there may be local population declines due to specific threats. The barn swallow is a bird of open country that uses man-made structures to breed and 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. This species lives in close association with humans, its insect-eating habits mean that it is tolerated by humans. There are frequent cultural references to the barn swallow in literary and religious works due to both its living in close proximity to humans and its annual migration.
The barn swallow is the national bird of Estonia. The adult male barn swallow of the nominate subspecies H. r. rustica is 17–19 cm long including 2–7 cm of elongated outer tail feathers. It has a wingspan of 32 -- weighs 16 -- 22 g, it has steel blue upperparts and a rufous forehead and throat, which are separated from the off-white underparts by a broad dark blue breast band. The outer tail feathers are elongated, giving the distinctive forked "swallow tail". There is a line of white spots across the outer end of the upper tail; the female is similar in appearance to the male, but the tail streamers are shorter, the blue of the upperparts and breast band is less glossy, the underparts paler. The juvenile has a paler rufous face and whiter underparts, it lacks the long tail streamers of the adult. The song of the barn swallow is a cheerful warble ending with su-seer with the second note higher than the first but falling in pitch. Calls include a loud splee-plink when excited; the alarm calls include a sharp siflitt for predators like cats and a flitt-flitt for birds of prey like the hobby.
This species is quiet on the wintering grounds. The distinctive combination of a red face and blue breast band render the adult barn swallow easy to distinguish from the African Hirundo species and from the welcome swallow with which its range overlaps in Australasia. In Africa the short tail streamers of the juvenile barn swallow invite confusion with juvenile red-chested swallow, but the latter has a narrower breast band and more white in the tail; the barn swallow was described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 as Hirundo rustica, characterised as H. rectricibus, exceptis duabus intermediis, macula alba notatîs. Hirundo is the Latin word for "swallow"; this species is the only one of that genus to have a range extending into the Americas, with the majority of Hirundo species being native to Africa. This genus of blue-backed swallows is sometimes called the "barn swallows"; the Oxford English Dictionary dates the English common name "barn swallow" to 1851, though an earlier instance of the collocation in an English-language context is in Gilbert White's popular book The Natural History of Selborne published in 1789: The swallow, though called the chimney-swallow, by no means builds altogether in chimnies, but within barns and out-houses against the rafters...
In Sweden she builds in barns, is called ladusvala, the barn-swallow. This suggests. There are few taxonomic problems within the genus, but the red-chested swallow—a resident of West Africa, the Congo basin, Ethiopia—was treated as a subspecies of barn swallow; the red-chested swallow is smaller than its migratory relative, has a narrower blue breast-band, has shorter tail streamers. In flight, it looks paler underneath than barn swallow. Six subspecies of barn swallow are recognised. In eastern Asia, a number of additional or alternative forms have been proposed, including saturata by Robert Ridgway in 1883, kamtschatica by Benedykt Dybowski in 1883, ambigua by Erwin Stresemann and mandschurica by Wilhelm Meise in 1934. Given the uncertainties over the validity of these forms, this article follows the treatment of Turner and Rose. H. r. rustica, the nominate European subspecies, breeds in Europe and Asia, as far north as the Arctic Circle, south to North Africa, the Middle East and Sikkim, east to the Yenisei River.
It migrates on a broad front to winter in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The barn swallows wintering in southern Africa are from across Eurasia to at least 91°E, have been recorded as covering up to 11,660 km on their annual migration; the nominate European subspecies was the first to have its genome published. H. r. transitiva was described by Ernst Hartert in 1910. It breeds in the Middle East from southern Turkey to Israel and is resident, though some birds winter in East Africa, it has a broken breast band. H. r. savignii, the resident Egyptian subspecies, was described by James Stephens in 1817 and named for French zoologist Marie Jules César Savigny. It resembles t