Bank Swallow

The Bank Swallow is a small unassuming bird with amazingly agile flight. They are white on their underside with brownish-gray feathers on their head, back, and wings. They are often confused with other swallow species.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Riparia riparia
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-9 Years
SIZE
4.7-5.5 ” | 0.04-0.05 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Non-Game
GAME TYPE
None
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Bank Swallows are found primarily in Northern Nevada, but will migrate through Southern Nevada. They prefer habitat near water where they can build their nests. They are found in every continent except for Australia and Antarctica.

  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Marsh
  • Rivers and streams

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation
  • Habitat Loss
  • Water Diversion

Natural History

Bank Swallow nests are excavated out of the muddy banks of rivers and streams by the males. They are colonial birds with colonies having up to 2,000 nests. Once the males have completed their nests, they will sit on the edge of the nest and sing as well as perform acrobatic flight displays to attract females. After a female has chosen a male and a nest site, they will begin to line the nest with soft materials like grasses and feathers.
Females lay one clutch per year with one to nine eggs in the clutch. Both parents will assist with incubating the eggs and caring for the hatchlings. Chicks will fledge after 20 days but will not become fully independent for a couple days after fledging.
They are aerial insectivores – they catch insects while in flight. They do most of their foraging over water and consume many different types of insects. They feed and migrate during the day and will often forage all day long.

Fun Facts

These birds will migrate and flock with other species of swallows. They can drink water while in flight by swooping down and dipping their beak to skim the water as they are flying.