Posts tagged ‘Flying Insects’

How did the barn swallow get its name?

The barn swallow gets its name because it often makes its nest on a rafter in a barn or shed, building it up of dabs of mud and lining it with soft feathers.

Before man built houses and barns, the barn swallows nested on cliff ledges or on sheltered tree branches.

The small, graceful swallow is one of our best-known birds.  It has long, powerful wings and spends much of its time in flight looking for small flying insects, which it scoops up in its big mouth.

Barn Swallow

Its small feet are suited more for perching than for walking.  Its long tail, which is often forked, is especially helpful in making sudden turns, as it pursues the insects.

Swallows usually return year after year to the same nesting sites, often to the same nests.  Few signs of spring are more certain than the appearance of swallows.

But the popular idea that swallows may return to a certain place on the same day each spring is just an old folk tale.

The day of their spring arrival depends on the abundance of insects in the air, which in turn depends on warm weather. – Dick Rogers

Why do bats fly at night?

Bat

Some birds and many animals, including bats, are adapted for living mostly at night.  Why  are some animals more active at certain times of the night or day?

The answer to this question is usually found in the kind of food the animal likes to eat.

Most bats are insect eaters.  During the day, bats sleep hanging from the ceilings of caves or buildings.

At sunset the bats leave their daytime shelter for a nighttime of hunting insects, which they catch while flying.

Bats have a built-in “radar system” that enables them to chase insects through thick forests on the darkest night without bumping into anything.

While flying, a bat makes a twittering sound that is so high-pitched that a human cannot hear it.

The sound bounce off objects and echo back to the bat’s keen ears.  Bu listening to the echoes, the bat can locate a flying insects and dodge objects in its path on its food seeking travels. – Dick Rogers