If you are familiar with us at Wildlife Removal and Pest Control, you’ll know that we provide San Diego, Temecula, and Orange County with pest and animal exclusion and prevention. We have a passion for providing our customers with humane wildlife removal and pest control services.

If you consider yourself something of a Southern California veteran, we likely don’t need to tell you that mud swallows, meaning both barn swallows and cliff swallows, are no stranger to the region.

These migratory songbirds, Hirundo rustica, in case you care, make their core habitat in California. Although they primarily breed in more Northern regions of California, there is a sliver of Southern California they find ideal for breeding. Guess what region that would be? San Diego County. To be fair, it’s not exactly uncommon to find them in other parts of the state, like Orange County or Temecula, as fate would have it. Just to remind of the same piece of information we started this post with, those are the aforementioned regions for which we provide bird control.

In the next two posts, we’ll be outlining some differences between barn swallows and cliff swallows in addition to noting the crossover between the two subspecies. If you hail from Southern California and are interested in learning more about our bird control services, make sure you read on. But likewise, if you consider yourself a “birding” enthusiast or you’d simply like to expand your knowledge regarding one of the most common songbirds in the world, keep on reading!

Identification of Barn Swallows

North American Barn Swallows are typically the size of a sparrow or perhaps smaller, which makes them between 5.9 and 7.5 inches in length, just .6-.7 ounces, and a wingspan between 11 inches and just over a foot from tip to tip. Slightly larger than tree swallows, barn swallows appear to be cone-shaped when they are perched, and are owners of marginally flat heads. Another distinguishing characteristic can be found with the tail extending beyond the wing tips. The oversized outer feathers offer a forked look which makes the bird more easily recognizable.


Barn swallows aren’t too picky when it comes to selecting a habitat to call home. Nesting alone or in small groups, you can find them in meadows, marshes, parks, fields, ponds, under bridges, inside sheds, and really pretty much anywhere they can manage. They’ll make coastal regions their home without too much of a fuss as well. If you happen to find a barn swallow nest inside of a building, such as a shed, it’s likely the home of a barn swallow.

While we are discussing the habitat of barn swallows, allow us to offer up a fun fact with regards to their former home. As it turns out, barn swallows were not always so accepting of various ecosystems. They used to be cave breeders and dwellers. At this point, however, they are known to be the most commonly found and widely distributed species of swallow in the world.


One of the most recognizable characteristics of a barn swallow has to be their unique color pattern. They combine a deep, dark blue and black blend on their wings, back, and tail with a tawny, somewhat golden underbelly. Moving upwards toward the heat and throat, you’ll notice a reddish hue begin to develop. White spots found under the tail are nearly impossible to…spot…unless you catch these swallows in flight. Of course, when you do, you’ll be hard-pressed to catch anything more than a glimpse at a time due to their remarkable agility. They can be difficult to perceive in a single area.


In reference to diet, barn swallows feed primarily while in flight, catching bugs anywhere from the right above the ground level to over 100 feet in the air. If you are ever in the birding mood and feel like watching them on the wing, you’ll notice they do not glide, but rather rapidly pump their wings so they can burst over short distances. This helps them twist, turn, and dive to catch their prey. In our opinion, these birds look like they are having fun. We know that they don’t have the intellectual capacity to experience entertainment or the like, but let us believe what we’d like to believe, by golly!

One additional note we’d like to make mention of is the fact that barn swallows are known to mate in the air. Further, male and female mates have an egalitarian relationship of sorts, as both sexes build the nest in anticipation of their young being born. Their nests, as you might already know, are made of grass, mud, and feathers. This is why they are sometimes referred to as “mud swallows.” Although, we have to wonder why “grass swallows” or “feather swallows” didn’t take.

Mud Swallow Control In Southern California

As fascinating as these creatures are, they are best observed when they aren’t setting up shop in your shed, if you’ll allow the inadvertent alliteration. If barn swallows, or mud swallows, are nesting on your property, we are the local bird control company that knows how to handle the job humanely.

There are various significant reasons to perform bird control, whether you are dealing with a pigeon problem, a swallow setback, or another kind of bird bother, taking care of the problem is important for you and your family’s health and safety. It also affects property value in an adverse way (assuming you aren’t selling your home to an ornithologist, we should warrant).

You can prevent unnecessary damage that birds can cause by calling in Wildlife Removal Service. We are locally owned and operated, we have proven bird removal and bird exclusion strategies, we have hundreds if not thousands of satisfied customers throughout Southern California, and we offer a 2-year warranty on installation.

More specifically, some of our specialty methods for bird control include bird spikes, shock tracks, bird wire, bird netting, and, if necessary, lethal bird control. We will also provide professional cleanup and sanitization of roosting sites so that you do not have to worry about your home or place of business being a potentially hazardous area after the birds have been effectively removed.

Now that we’ve gotten some of the basic information regarding the identification of barn swallows, keep an eye out for a future post in which we examine the Identification of cliff swallows.

It’s mud swallow season here in Southern California, so do not hesitate if you have an issue. The sooner you call, the sooner the problem can be resolved. Call us today for more information or if you would like to schedule your swallow control appointment today! Whether you are in or around San Diego, Orange County, or Temecula, we’ve got you covered with affordable and effective animal control!