The adult male barn swallow of the nominate subspecies H. r. rustica is 17–19 cm  long including 2–7 cm of elongated outer tail feathers. It has a wingspan of 32–34.5 cm and weighs 16–22 g. It has steel blue upperparts and a rufous forehead, chin and throat, which are separated from the off-white underparts by a broad dark blue breast band. The outer tail feathers are elongated, giving the distinctive deeply forked "swallow tail". There is a line of white spots across the outer end of the upper tail. The female is similar in appearance to the male, but the tail streamers are shorter, the blue of the upperparts and breast band is less glossy, and the underparts paler. The juvenile is browner and has a paler rufous face and whiter underparts. It also lacks the long tail streamers of the adult.

The song of the barn swallow is a cheerful warble, often ending with su-seer with the second note higher than the first but falling in pitch. Calls include witt or witt-witt and a loud splee-plink when excited (or trying to chase intruders away from the nest) The alarm calls include a sharp siflitt for predators like cats and a flitt-flitt for birds of prey like the hobby. This species is fairly quiet on the wintering grounds

Latin Name
Hirundo rustica

When the bird was spotted

Date Location Title Seen by Interestingness
France, Leymen In the garden mike421 ***
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Hemlington Lake b.m.stokesley ***
Germany, Marktrodach Höfles Hühnerhabicht *
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Newgate Bank b.m.stokesley ***
Germany, Marktrodach around 20 sitting on a cable in Höfles Hühnerhabicht
Germany, Dagebüll near farm Hühnerhabicht *
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Fields near Stokesley b.m.stokesley ***
Germany, Wissen flying overhead in Mittelhof Hühnerhabicht ***
France, Leymen In the garden mike421 *
Germany, Marktrodach around the house Hühnerhabicht
Germany, Kandern flying overhead next to farm near Wollbach Hühnerhabicht ***
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors South Gare b.m.stokesley ***
Germany, Wissen In the garden flying overhead Hühnerhabicht ***
Germany, Marktrodach flying overhead Hühnerhabicht
France, Leymen In front of the house mike421 *
Germany, Wissen on and above fields in Hövels Hühnerhabicht
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Allotment b.m.stokesley ***
Germany, Kandern around 10 on a field between Wollbach and Hammerstein Hühnerhabicht **
France, Leymen Flying overhead mike421
Germany, Kandern in the meadows behind the house, flying Hühnerhabicht ***
France, Leymen First 3 of the year mike421 ***
Portugal, Algarve Faro b.m.stokesley
Spain, Seville River b.m.stokesley
France, not specified La petite Camargue mike421 *
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Roseberry topping mike421 *
UK, Teesside and the North York Moors Falcon Clints, Teesdale (first sighting this year in the UK) b.m.stokesley
France, Leymen First of the year in the garden mike421 ***
Spain, Mallorca Path from Cala san Vicenc to Puig de l'Aguila b.m.stokesley
France, Leymen First one of the year mike421
France, Leymen Swallows in the field mike421