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December 2022

Vol. 50, No. 6

A Hybrid Barn Swallow x Cave Swallow in South Kingstown, Rhode Island

Bill Thompson

Images 1 and 2. Side view and front view of the hybrid Barn Swallow x Cave Swallow. All photographs by the author.
Images 1 & 2. Side view and front view of the hybrid Barn Swallow x Cave Swallow. All photographs by the author.

On April 28, 2022, I was photographing a mixed flock of swallows at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, when I noticed a bird that superficially resembled a Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) but appeared to have a cinnamon rump patch that would not be expected on a Barn Swallow. I took several photos of this bird in flight before it left. I viewed the bird only through a camera, so I was not able to study the details of its appearance until later in the day, when I reviewed the photos on my computer. This bird was associated with several Barn Swallows within a larger mixed flock of swallows, which included Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, and a Bank Swallow.

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