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National Bird Project - Vote for Canada's National Bird
National Bird Project - Vote for Canada's National Bird


Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

Votes: 59

Tree swallow
Photo illustration: Canadian Geographic; Photo: Kencrebbin / CG Photo Club

A medium swallow with iridescent blue-green upperparts and white underparts. Wings are long, tapered and dark grey, and the notched tail is darker still. The tree swallow has a large North American range, seeking open areas near water ponds, marshes and swamps and shorelines.

(Both Sexes)
Weight 16-25 g
Length 12-15 cm
Wingspan 30-35 cm
Tree swallow range map
Range map courtesy iBird for Windows
Click to enlarge

Vote for the Tree swallow for Canada’s National Bird


Comments and essays appear in the language in which they were submitted


Six years ago I created a three hole nesting house and it has been inhabited by the same pair of Tree Swallow adults every spring since. They also return from there southern winter haven with last seasons' jueveniles who have now plumed into adulthood. These birds are possiblly the most articulate bird that I've ever witnessed. My wife and I watch them for hours on end and are utterly amazed by their behavioural patterns. When it comes to defending their clutch, they are totally fearless. They'll dive-bomb everything that poses a threat to their nest. They used to do this to me when I'd moow our lawn, but now they allow us to come to within mere inches of them without fear of our presence. The male is an astoundingly shiny blue, with a white underbelly, while the female is a shiny brown, with blue and a neon-green stripe with a white underbelly. Their clutches can have anywhere from 3-7 eggs which are white in colour. Incubation is usually around 9-12 days and within 14-18 days, the jueveniles take flight. Jueveniles are grey for their first year and they are with the parents for the same amount of time. These birds have a suttle chirping sound which turns to a rattling chatter when they become agitated or excited. They glide around when airbourne and remind me of a gliding kite. They glide around effortlessly. Our nest box has only three 7/8" holes and I'm amazed to witness the adults fold up like a bullet and blaze into this opening. We adore our few months with them and sorely miss them when they leave for their southern winter home. We adore them so much so, that we've placed names on our adults. The reason I think that The Tree Swallow should be Canada's National Bird, is because they can be viewed in every province of this great nation.

L'hirondelle bicolore est un oiseau présent dans mon environnement depuis mon enfance,je trouve malheureux de voir la population diminuer,je crois qu'en la choisissant cela lui donnerait de la visibilité dont elle a besoin!C'est un oiseau essentiel entre autre pour le contrôle des insectes comme le maringouin.Il faut les voir à la chasse à la brunante pour en apprécier toute la grâce!

The amazing Tree swallow mostly lives in the summer time in Canada. Adults have glossy greenish black or blue in the upper parts.You should vote for the tree swallow because it is the tree swallow sound that is great and it is a smart bird. It can lay 4 to 6 eggs and it also is so beautiful. Vote for it because it is easy to spot in trees and it's small and that helps it fly away from predators and it is nice because tree swallows live in trees and they have small beaks. But tree swallows aren't that smart.

The tree swallow is an amazing bird in all respects- beautiful with it's irridesent colours,an amazing flyer and,loyal to the death to protect it's young.It has so many admirable qualities that I think it should be our national bird.

The tree swallow. It's a bird that probably needs more recognition. I have only seen one in the last 20 years. It nested in a tree outside my front window. Unfortunately, nature is not kind to the tree swallow. It was preyed upon by another bird and it's nest and eggs decimated. I think it lost it's life as well. I haven't seen one since. It's been almost 7 years. Maybe with recognition will come some protection.

Ces oiseaux me visitent à chaque année! Le chant est mélodieux et elles sont de véritables as de l'aviation.
Elles sont très attachantes avec leurs couleurs bleu et blanc.

The tree swallow are very pretty birds like me
the tree swallow does not eat meat
tree swallows are blue
don’t you like blue?

The tree swallow is such a nice bird. I would love for them to be Canada’s national bird and they come in the summer and people are always outside. Please vote for the tree swallow!;)

PS Grade 5
The cutest bird ever!
Remembers good places to nest!
Every year comes to Canada in the summer to breed!
Excellent for helping a hand when another swallow is in danger!

Sweet as candy!
Wings are an iridescent blue!
Awesome because they eat mosquitos!
Little cute bird!
Lucky to see their beauty!
Originally from Canada!
Wacky bird that is like dive bombers when they are flying!
This bird is not any other provinces bird. They mainly live in only Canada in the summer.

I am voting for the Tree Swallow because I was amazed by the facts. Like the fact that in the summer there is 20 million Tree Swallows that come to Canada. It is good that the Tree Swallow lives in all of the provinces and territories in Canada for the summer. Other facts that amazed me is how cute they are!!! So I am voting for the Tree Swallow as Canada's National Bird.

The beautiful blue/green iridescent tree swallow is a very energetic bird that displays amazing acrobatic, playful acts while mating. It's fluid, tweety song is very cheerful and pleasant . They lived in a bird house in our backyard for a number of years and put on quite a show, sometimes diving down toward us on our deck. There were times of competition while trying to find the right mate. We certainly had a lot of enjoyment watching them for the few months they visited us.

I like the tree swallow because it lives in Alberta Where I like so I can see it. I also really like its wings because it has awesome colours!

I am voting Tree Swallow for Canada's National Bird for multiple reasons. Firstly, Tree Swallows are a widespread and common species across Canada. They usually breed near water and represents the many lakes and ponds of Canada.

Secondly, there are programs concerning Tree Swallows such as nest box monitoring, that can be used to educate the public on Tree Swallows and their habitat, not to mention the other species that live in these habitats. Tree Swallows are probably one of the most-studied birds in North America.

Lastly, Tree Swallows are very gorgeous blue and white birds and are often one of the first signs of spring. They are not restricted to remote areas so pretty much anyone can observe these iridescent insectivores.


L'Hirondelle Bicolore a bercer mon enfance au chalet de mes parents dans le Maine. Se fabriquant un nid a peine a 6' de hauteur sous la petite galerie, toujours la aujourd'hui, son travail acharné, que je pouvais admirer chaque fois que j'avais la chance de m'y rendre, sa si grande fidélité année après année. Et aujourd'hui, après avoir acheter ma maison, il y a quelques années, j'y ai installer ma première cabane a hirondelles en juin 2013 a mon retour de Kuujjuaq, un run de 7 mois que j'adore. Une belle cabane fait a la main par un artisane de chez-nous et quelle fut pas ma plus belle et grande surprise!...Comme a chaque matin, je vais dans la fenêtre qui arrive sur ma galerie de la chambre de la tour, une grande fenêtre dans la tour me permet de voir ma cabane.... YES!... mon premier couple d'hirondelle chez-moi. J'en ai rêver durant 20 ans la ou je demeurais avant. Et voila... elles sont chez-nous. Préparant le petit nid d'amour pour recevoir leurs rejetons. Mais durant l'été 2013, la catastrophe du train fou de Lac-Mégantic a tuer ma sœur et fait fuir bien entendu mes hirondelles car ma maison est a peine a 1000 mètres du drames. Plusieurs éléments venaient chavirer mon cœur et mes émotions, ma vie et celle de tant d'autres venaient de changer a jamais. Étant alcoolique, je dois me méfier de chaque évènements tristes ou heureux pour ne pas retourner dans l'enfer. Ca fait 13 ans en février que je suis sobre et croyez moi que de voir l'hirondelles de ma jeunesse si attendues chez moi me prouve encore et toujours que la persévérance est toujours bénéfique. Et vous voulez savoir pourquoi je choisi l'hirondelle Bicolore, et bien pour sa grande persévérance,
sa ténacité, sa loyauté, sa grande beauté, sa tète haute, et bien entendu, sa si grande fidélité car le 1er juin 2014, j'ai remis ma cabane au même endroit et quel grand bonheur de les voir revenir. Toujours aussi gracieuses. Bien assise sur ma chaise berçante, tout près d'eux, je les admire. Je serais très heureuse de les voir comme emblème du Canada. Merci de m'avoir lue.


Je pense que l'hirondelle est un bon choix. Un oiseau qui est partout selon moi au Canada et que nous voyons de moins en moins.

I think the Tree Swallow should be the bird because he is here all summer and that is when everyone would be outside,not in winter.He s not a provincial bird yet and he is easy to identify.

That's why I think he should be the bird.

I chose this bird because...

this bird is almost all over Canada so many,many people will always see this bird so I think it is a great national bird!
It is such a pretty color with the blue and the other colors and it is not just gray and black. Sins this bird has blue as one of his or her color so it will be easy to identify which is a good thing. Even though it is only at twenty votes that doesn't mean we can't get it higher!

Please vote for this bird!

I would like to pick thise bird becasue it is a song bird and I would like Canada to have a Singing bird.

We have had Tree Swallows nest in our bird house for the last five years. We have just moved and we are hoping new pairs will find us. One used to sit on the rail of our deck and watch my husband BBQ. They are beautiful in flight and just as attractive close up.

Loved this bird ever since having them live in our bird house.

Tree swallows have been part of my life from childhood. A pair nests in my yard every year, and I grew up listening to their chatter overhead as they swooped across my family's farm. They still come, year after year, to the farm and to my yard. I have held an injured tree swallow in my hand and marvelled at its beauty and delicacy. (The swallow got better and flew away.) Swallows come early and leave early, but while they are here, it is spring.

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