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Swallows are distinguished from Housemartins by their long tail streamers and red throat and have a blue black body and white underparts.

They are a summer visitor to the UK, flying from Africa where they overwinter. In the autumn, they congregate on telephone cables and roofs before their migration. Building mud nests in the eaves as well as on the rafters of buildings and on ledges of cliffs, Swallows will feed their fledged young on the wing.

Food consists almost entirely of winged insects, which they catch while flying. They can also be seen scooping water from lakes.