Japan's eight species of Hirundinidae family birds and three species of Apodidae family birds are very similar. Swallows from the Hirundinidae family are a common sight from Honshu to Kyushu. The song of a male Swallow is long and complex with the voice growing thick toward the end.
Play birds singing
Swallows are so adept at flying that they can eat insects, drink water and even bathe in flight. In fact, Swallows may be better at flying than any other bird within the Passeriformes family.
They migrate to Japan to raise their young in the spring, around the time that insects begin to emerge, and return to Southeast Asia in the fall when the insect population declines. Provided they have a sufficient supply of insects on which to feed, they can spend the winter most anywhere as long as they have access to open sources of water that they can drink and bathe in as they fly.
Most Swallows take to the air during the daytime but will spend time on the ground to collect mud and straw when building their nests. Incidentally, the nest that is used to make bird's nest soup, an expensive Chinese delicacy, is that of the swiftlet. Without ever landing on the ground, swiftlets collect grass and use their saliva to bind it together to create their nests.
There's no assurance that the same swallows return to the same location every year. As wild birds face many natural enemies, their survival rate is relatively low, making it difficult to maintain a relationship with the same partner for any length of time. Male Swallows usually come to Japan before the females to claim their territory. If a male fails to mark its territory, a female will not seek him out as a partner.
Even when partnerships do develop, once the adults have raised their chicks in the summer, the relationship between the mates, as well as between the parents and their offspring, will come to an end. Afterward, each bird will live independently, even if a group of birds should form.
Swallows will collect mud and straw to construct their nests. Males have thicker and longer tails than their female counterparts. Young birds have tails that are even shorter than those of females. If you should hear a swallow singing, then it is a male.
This photo shows a Swallow in flight. You can identify swiftlets, the nests of which are used to make Chinese bird's nest soup, by their black bellies. Other swallows generally have white bellies. Among them, only the Barn Swallow and Pacific Swallow, which live on the Nansei Islands, have a red throat.