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July 21st  2011    Tim Candler

    A lone male Barn Swallow will sometimes kill the nestlings of more properly occupied Barn Swallows. 

    Generally it's a female Barn Swallow that chooses  her mate. It may be the length and shape of his tail or the set of his brow or the sound of his voice.   Quite what that pattern is rests solely in the imagination of female Barn Swallows, but safe to suggest his agility in flight may be her primary motivation when dispensing her favors. 

     

     Otherwise and despite keen observation by others,  I can see absolutely no visible difference between a male Barn Swallow and a female Barn Swallow.  Indeed all Barn Swallows look alike to my dull eyes.  Except sometimes.

    Into the barn he comes. And I know it's him, because he flies slow and warily. It's an instinct they'll tell you. He can't help himself.  He's bred to an envy and when it's done he'll feel better.

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