Northern Rough-winged Swallow

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is a small, migratory bird that can be found throughout much of North America. This unique species has many interesting characteristics that make it an important part of the ecosystem.

Basic Description

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is around 5 inches in length and has a wingspan of approximately 11 inches. Its plumage is brownish-gray on top with a white underbelly. The feathers on its wings are rough to the touch, which gives this swallow its name.

Where To Find This Bird

Northern Rough-winged Swallows can be found across most parts of North America during breeding season. They migrate south to Central and South America during winter months but return north for breeding season each year.


These birds prefer open habitats including fields, wetlands, marshes, and streamsides where they build their nests in burrows or crevices within rock faces or cliffs. They also will use man-made structures such as bridges or culverts for nesting sites.


Northern Rough-winged Swallows feed primarily on insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths and beetles which they catch while flying through the air at high speeds with their wide-open mouths!

Cool Facts

One interesting fact about these swallows is that their nests may provide shelter for other animals beyond just themselves! Researchers have noted cases where species like bats or mice have been known to take refuge in abandoned swallow nests after they’ve vacated them.

Another cool fact about these birds is that although they are not considered endangered presently they face challenges from habitat loss due to human activity over recent decades so conservation efforts must continue if we want future generations able enjoy seeing these unique creatures out there flying around us!

In conclusion the Northern Rough-Winged Swallow is an amazing little bird with many fascinating traits making it a vital part of our ecosystems here in North America. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these birds while out exploring nature, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and wonder it brings.