Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Status in the Checklist Area - Common*

A common swallow found throughout most of the checklist area in the summer months. Often one of the first swallow species to appear in the spring. Unique among most swallows of having the habit of eating berries when insects are unavailable. Barn Swallows are the other species that does this as well. Females in their first year are much more drab than adult males but become brighter in their next molt. Nests in tree cavities or nest boxes often near water. Tree Swallows builds large pre-migratory flocks prior to migration south to Central America. The first week of March is the average yearly arrival time for this species in our checklist area. Late August is the latest this species has been recorded to date.

Similar species:
A drab female or juvenile Tree Swallow could look similar to Northern Rough-winged or Bank Swallow at a casual glance.

Violet-green Swallows have similar iridescent plumage but is greenish rather than bluish. The white on a Tree Swallow does not extend up on the rump or above the eye.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)

Noteworthy Data
February 22, 2015 Island 22 Regional Park G. Gadsden, 2015, J. Gadsden Single bird flying over site. Earliest sighting on record for checklist area. This spring was abnormally early for this species to arrive in B.C. Tree Swallows were first recorded at Iona Regional Park on February 15, 2015 (M. Toochin, 2015). Three Tree Swallows were recorded the following day, February 23, 2015, at Cheam Lake Wetlands.
February 25, 2008 Harrison Mills G. Gadsden Four birds. Second earliest sighting on record for checklist area.
August 27, 2008 Island 22 Regional Park G. Gadsden Three birds. Latest sighting on record for checklist area.
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