It is because of its extraordinary lifestyle – a lifestyle that takes it across the Globe and which brings it in close contact with humans.
This awesome spectacle, half an hour before sunset, of the Barn Swallows coming home to roost every night has become a world wide attraction as a Natural Wonder and Global Treasure.
In South Africa, as spring arrives in September, the migratory Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) start to appear. At Mt Moreland, South Africa’s largest roost, the initial small flocks swell to thousands and then millions. By November up to 3 million Barn Swallows can be seen every evening over the Lake Victoria wetland roost.
The reedbed roost site the Barn Swallows have chosen is a wetland, locally known as the Lake Victoria Wetland, it is covered with indigenous Phragmities reeds.
The Barn Swallows at Mount Moreland and their roosting habitat are now recognized as a world famous Barn Swallow site and IBA (International Birding Area).
The now famous Barn Swallows of Mt Moreland return during late October. Visitors are welcome to visit the view-site in the last week in October but the best viewing months are November, and March. Visitors need to come half an hour before sunset, check the Map for directions. You need to bring own chairs, sun-downers and snacks, binoculars and anti-mozzie cream.
A R10.00 per person fee is charged on entrance. Barn Swallow mementos and information booklets are on sale at the main table.
The Barn Swallow viewing site is open every day during Swallow season.
The Mount Moreland Conservancy is the organization behind all this.
Your support is really important in helping to ensure the well being of the Barn Swallows now and into the future.
Barn Swallow – European Swallow – Hirundo Rustica
Upper parts metallic blue/black
Collar band of upper chest blue/black Forehead and throat dark reddish chestnut Underparts cream/white to Rufus buff
Tail deeply forked with white windows Legs and bill black
Eyes dark brown
Lifespan: 2 to 13 years
Food: Flying insects (anthropoids) Eats and drinks on the wing
Breeds late April to August in Northern hemisphere
Builds open mud and straw nest, sometimes lined with feathers, usually on a ledge or in a building of some kind.
Clutch size: 4 to 6 white eggs, marked with reddish spots over ash grey.
Incubation 15 to 19 days Young fed by both parents Fledge and fly 20 to 22 days
BARN SWALLOWS DO NOT BREED IN SOUTH AFRICA