Migration and Annual Cycle
Barn Swallow


  • Virtually all barn swallows are in South America now, finishing up their body and flight feather molts before migration begins.


  • Most American Barn Swallows are in South America. The very first breeding birds reach southern California and Texas. Some early migrants pass through Mexico. They are almost done molting.


  • Most migrants pass through Central America. Some reach central states. They are done molting in time for most of their migration and their breeding cycle.


  • Barn swallow migration peaks in central states, starting to breed in South. Some are reaching northern states and southern provinces.


  • Peak migration in northern states and provinces, reach Alaska, breeding in much of range. First babies are hatching.


  • Peak nesting--most baby barn swallows are born in June. Parents are busy.


  • As barn swallows finish nesting, they are starting to gather in migratory groups. Some migrants leave northern areas. Young stay with their parents during migration.


  • Peak fall migration for barn swallows over much of Canada and the US. The first individuals are reaching South America. Watch for flocks along their migration pathways gathering along telephone wires.


  • Peak migration of barn swallows through southern states. Barn swallows are hard to find over the northern part of their range now.


  • There are still a few straggler barn swallows in central states, but most are in South America now, growing new body feathers. Some are starting to molt their flight feathers.


  • Barn swallows are mostly in South America now, and just about all are molting.


  • Virtually all barn swallows are in South America now, and body and flight feather molts are at their peak.


Baltimore Oriole Range Map | Bullock's Oriole Range Map

Range Map
Barn Swallows in the Americas