Backyard bird of the month for August: Tree Swallow

A welcome and familiar sight near summer fields and wetlands across North America, Tree Swallows are clever aerialists with deep blue iridescent backs and stark white undersides. These birds are often found zipping through the sky in a series of acrobatic twists and turns while catching and feeding on insects. The Tree Swallow—which is most often seen in open, treeless areas—gets its name from its habit of nesting in tree cavities; they are known to inhabit human-made nesting boxes as well. During August these birds begin their long migration back to Central America, congregating in enormous flocks. Watch for these growing migratory groups, especially along coastal dunes, over the next few weeks!

Backyard Bird of the Month is a feature by Maine Audubon created for the Maine Home Garden News, the newsletter of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Garden and Yard.