The small and beautiful barn swallows are the national animal of Estonia. This bird is small with cobalt blue color on its back. The national bird of Estonia is an insect eater thus you are likely to see it flying low over fields in such of insects. They like building their nests close to homesteads, especially in garages, stores and sometimes can even build on a human being’s house. This closeness to human beings makes it to be considered the national animal of Estonia.
Barn swallows are mostly found in rural areas. They like living in open and semi-open places such as farms, fields, marshes and lakes. The national bird of Estonia often breeds around towns, farms and forages over fields. Estonia’s national animal can also be found in Africa, Asia, Argentina, Europe and America. This bird is divided into six subspecies spreading across the northern hemisphere.
Facts about the National Animal of Estonia
- Common name: Barn swallows
- Scientific name: Hirundo rustica
- Habitat: open and semi-open places
- Diet: insects
- Average weight: 0.63oz
- Average lifespan: 4 years
- Average length: 5.7-7.8in.
- Incubation period: 12-17 days
- Average number of eggs: 3-7 eggs
They have blue-black wings and tails. Its under parts are between rufous and tawny in color. While perched, it appears cone-shaped with a slightly flattened head. This beautiful bird has actually been celebrated as the national animal symbol of Estonia for over 50 years. Young barns swallows are fed by both parents and sometimes other off springs might pass by and feed them too. Once the young birds are about 18 days, they are ready to leave the nest. Adult barn swallows can have up to 2 broods per year.
In the bird kingdom, the barn swallows are among the few species that can actually go back to their parents’ nest and feed their siblings. This sense of togetherness and a feeling of responsibility might have informed the decision to name the barn swallow as the national symbol of Estonia.
- “Guide to north American birds”-Audubon
- “Bird guide: Barn swallow”-All about birds
- “RSPB: Swallow”-Birds and wildlife.