swallow

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swallow,

common name for small perching birds of almost worldwide distribution. There are about 100 species of swallows, including the martins, which belong to the same family. Swallows have long, narrow wings, forked tails, and weak feet. They are extremely graceful in flight, making abrupt changes in speed and direction as they feed on the wing, catching insects in their wide mouths. Their plumage is blue or black with a metallic sheen, generally darker above than below. They nest in flocks in barns, sheds, chimneys, or other secluded places. The common American barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, is steel-blue above and pinkish beneath, with a rusty forehead and deeply forked tail. The purple martin, Progne subis, is deep violet with black wings and tail. Other American swallows, all with shallowly forked tails, are the cliff, or eave, swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota), which builds jug-shaped nests of mud and clay lined with grass and feathers; the bank swallow or sand martin, which burrows into shore banks to nest; and the tree (Iridoprocne bicolor) and rough-winged (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) swallows. The so-called chimney swallow is a swiftswift,
common name for small, swallowlike birds related to the hummingbird and found all over the world, chiefly in the tropics. They range in size from 6 to 12 in. (15–30 cm) in length. Swifts have long wings and small feet and can perch only on vertical surfaces.
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. Swallows are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Hirundinidae.

swallow

bird that cried “consolation” at Lord’s crucifixion. [Animal Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 1050]
See: Grief

swallow

harbinger of the spring season. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 164]
See: Spring

swallow

1
1. Nautical the opening between the shell and the groove of the sheave of a block, through which the rope is passed
2. Rare another word for throat, gullet

swallow

2
1. any passerine songbird of the family Hirundinidae, esp Hirundo rustica (common or barn swallow), having long pointed wings, a forked tail, short legs, and a rapid flight
References in classic literature ?
Dear little Swallow," said the Prince, "you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women.
So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates.
Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey.
The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well.
I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow," said the Prince, "you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.
It is not to Egypt that I am going," said the Swallow.
So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.
Voluntary single swallows of saliva ("dry" swallow)
Focusing on swallows, BirdLide said it was a species that anyone, almost anywhere could help with, through the Spring Alive 2016 season theme 'Swallows of my Neighbourhood'.
For single bolus analysis, electrophysiological recordings were taken for swallows initiated with 3 ml of water while the tongue tip was touching the upper incisors.
The first cave swallows recorded in the United States were of the Caribbean race (Petrochelidon fulva fulva) in Florida in 1890 (Selander and Baker, 1957).
Swallows migrate thousands of miles from their winter grounds in South and Central America to their breeding and nesting grounds in North America.