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I saw the Barn Swallow below under a walkway at the refuge. It did not seem to mind my presence. This type of bird gets along very well with people and has become established in our lore, culture, and even religion.

Barn Swallow.

I went to a part of the walkway right above it, and it was still okay with that, even looking up calmly.

Barn Swallow looking up at photographer.

It also sang and kept singing during the whole time I was there.

Barn Swallow singing.

Barn Swallows are very social birds that live together in large roosts, some containing as many as millions of birds. There were not that many at the refuge, but I saw several of them just twenty feet away from the one above. One bird was building its nest with mud. The others were typical onlookers, just like us humans observing our neighbors fix their houses.

Barn Swallows watching one of them landing near them.

Barn Swallows: note the one on the right carrying apiece of mud in its beak.

Barn Swallows. The one carrying mud had just flown up to the underside of the walkway.