Fun Cave Swallow Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Oct 20, 2022 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Mar 12, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Learn some cave swallow facts with us today!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

Cave swallow is a bird species that is commonly found in the North and South Americas. This bird is also found in states like Texas and is known for its beautiful.

Named after its choice of sites for the construction of nests, this swallow (cave) is also found in southwestern Mexico, the Yucata Peninsula and the Caribbean. Birds of this species often nest in large colonies, which also serve as information centers. Keep reading to know more facts!

Cave Swallow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cave swallow?

As the common name of these North American birds suggests, they are swallows. These birds are common in both Americas and is named after its choice of habitat.

What class of animal does a cave swallow belong to?

In scientific terms, the cave swallow (Petrochelidon fulva) is classified in the class of Aves. However, it is more commonly simply classified as a bird.

How many cave swallows are there in the world?

Unfortunately, there are no conclusive records that can tell us the exact number of cave swallows that live in this world.

However, since the cave swallow distribution is widespread and its conversation status is that of Least Concern, we may very well assume that a cave swallow family or two will be around almost all construction sites in both Americas for many more decades!

Where does a cave swallow live?

Cave swallows are named after their choice of habitat. Throughout the cave swallow range, it is commonly noticed that these birds nest near natural caves and sinkholes. When caves are not around, they simply nest under highway culverts, under bridges, near construction sites, and pretty much all other places which provide a certain degree of protection against predators.

What is a cave swallow's habitat?

The cave swallow (Petrochelidon fulva) species is common in North and South America. They are most common in places such as the state of Texas, Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Caribbean, and the West Indies. The habitat range is thus quite extensive and these birds also occur in large numbers.

Who do cave swallows live with?

Cave swallows are known to show tremendous family values. They, as well as related species, nest in colonies. Hundreds of nests can be seen in a single nesting area. One of the most fascinating features of these nests is that the roosting area also works as an information center for the birds!

How long does a cave swallow live?

The average cave swallow life expectancy is of four years. However, there are some records that cave swallows can live for as many as 12 years when given the right range of diet and habitat.

How do they reproduce?

Cave swallows are oviparous animals. This essentially means that these North American birds reproduce through laying eggs. The female cave swallows lay around two to five eggs, which both the parent birds take care of together. It is common to find a cave swallow foraging for food along with its range around the breeding season.

The parent birds are also vigilant when the eggs have hatched so that their nestlings are not threatened by any predators. At the sign of any threats, cave swallows swoop and create loud noises. These birds are born blind and remain in their nests for 20-22 days after being born so that they can be taken care of!

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the cave swallow species is that of Least Concern. This is due to various reasons, the first of which is the fact that many efforts are being made in order to provide these birds with places where they can build their nests.

Nesting in groups is a very important part of the lives of cave swallows, which is why human-made structures are giving them a sense of security and protection.

Cave Swallow Fun Facts

What do cave swallows look like?

Cave swallows are beautiful birds. This species is characterized by its blue-gray plumage and brown or tangerine-colored rump. The forehead, throat, and cheek regions are the same color as the rump and give these birds the most amazing look. The male and female birds of this species do not show much variation in terms of physical features.

Baby cave swallows remain in the nest for a few weeks so that they can develop sight and flight feathers!

How cute are they?

We can hardly deny that the forehead and cheek colors make the cave swallow a beautiful and absolutely adorable bird species. The darker colored throat adds great contrast and the general color combination of chestnut with blue-gray gives a very regal look!

How do they communicate?

Cave swallows communicate in the same way as most other bird species. They have different calls for the breeding season and make high-pitched noises when threatened.

The nesting sites are usually quite loud owing to the fact that all birds congregate in such areas to discuss matters! Across the cave swallow habitat, the bird's calls are very common. These birds have somewhat typical swallow-like calls, which sure light up the bridges and cliffs that they live near.

How big is a cave swallow?

The average length of a cave swallow is typically 5.5 in (14 cm). Some variations may occur depending on the subspecies. There are a total of five cave swallow subspecies.

How fast can a cave swallow fly?

While the speed of the cave swallow species is unknown to us, a barn swallow can fly at the speed of 25-45 mph (40-72 kph). The barn swallow species are related to Petrochelidon fulva.

How much does a cave swallow weigh?

The average weight range of a swallow (cave) is of around 0.6-0.9 oz (17-25 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Unfortunately, there are no special names for the male and female cave swallows. Hence, we will have to refer to them as the male cave swallow and female cave swallow.

What would you call a baby cave swallow?

The baby cave swallow bird would be called a nestling for the 20-22 days when it stays in the nest and becomes ready for its first flight.

What do they eat?

The cave swallow diet consists of a vast array of insects. Such insects consist of moths, bees and bugs among many others. This bird species forages throughout its life and brings insects back to the nest for their hatchlings!

Are they dangerous?

Across their nesting range, no such incidences have been recorded which would suggest that cave swallows are dangerous in any way!

Would they make a good pet?

The cave swallow size does make it a nice bird species to have as a pet, however, it is not common in America or Mexico to have cave swallows as pets.

At the same time, if you find the darker plumage and forehead tints of the species cute, there is no reason to shy away from having a cave swallow bird or two as a pet!

Did you know...

The breeding season for this swallow species goes on from April to August.

It is a common swallow species in North and South America.

Nests can also be spotted in the Caribbean and in the West Indies.

Nestlings remain in their nests for the first 20-22 days of their lives.

Why is it called cave swallow?

This bird species gets its common name from its choice of sites for building nests. Cave swallow nests are mostly found in caves, sinkholes, and cliff sides.

Do cave swallows migrate?

It is believed that some cave swallow species migrate to the south in the autumn and winter months. However, their migratory patterns are poorly researched so far!

north america mexico caribbean texas South America the yucatan peninsula

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Sources

https://www.nps.gov/cave/learn/nature/cave_swallows.htm

https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/cave-swallow/

https://www.sibleyguides.com/bird-info/cave-swallow/

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/782/overview/cave_swallow.aspx

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/cave-swallow

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cave_Swallow/id

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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