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Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow; note the dark throat and light rump

General Description: Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) are birds of the open sky that feed on the wing and don't often perch where you can get a good look at them. In flight, Cliff Swallows are dark above except for a rusty rump. The chin and breast are rusty, and the rest of the underparts are light.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Hirundinidae, Hirundininae.

Favored Habitat: Swallows are birds of the open sky that feed on the wing. They can be found in most habitats as they pass through the Las Vegas area during migration.

Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

Where to Find: Cliff Swallows can be found anywhere, but look for them over open marshy areas and water. Look for them at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, the meadow at Calico Basin, and the pasture at Corn Creek.

Comments: Swifts and swallows can sometimes be hard to tell apart in flight. The key is the way they fly. Swallows flap their wings like normal birds -- both wings go up and down at the same time. Swifts do this too, but they flap so quickly that the wings appear to move in opposite directions with one wing going up while the other goes down -- their flight appears to be more of a swimming motion.

Cliff Swallows build an enclosed mud nest under an overhang to protect the nest from the elements.

Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow entering nest
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nest
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nest
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nest
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nest location under cliff above a creek
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nest location under cliff above a creek
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow nestlings
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow parent feeding nestlings inside mud nest
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120904

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