Cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

These small, stocky songbirds fly high in the sky to feast on swarming insects. In Spring at low tide, you might see them gathering mouthfuls of mud from the lagoon. They’ll take the mud back to their colony on the underside of a cliff, a bridge, or a building’s overhang, and add it to the walls of their nests. An average nest is a 7-inch sphere composed of 900 to 1,200 mud pellets.

Fun Fact:
Cliff Swallows build their nests one mouthful of mud at a time — as many as 1,200 pellets for each nest.

What’s for Lunch:
Swarming insects

Where’s Home:
Nests in spring and summer under cliff ledges; winters in South America