Known as heralds of spring and beautiful, elegant flyers, swallows are among the most beloved of familiar birds. Because they return with the spring, swallows have long been associated with the renewal of life, love, fidelity and fertility, while their ability to travel incredible distances has given them associations with freedom and speed.
That freedom, however, hasn't kept them from becoming familiar figures in villages and towns.
Unlike many animals, these birds have benefited from their close relationship with humans.
They often appear to seek out our company; barn swallows have taken advantage of our buildings to make new nesting sites and purple martins use backyard nest boxes.
However, as we encroach on their natural habitat, some swallow populations have dwindled to the point of extinction.
Bringing together an intriguing mixture of biology, mythology and legend, Swallow is a cultural and natural history that will delight the many fans of these popular birds.