|Endangered Species:Cliff Swallow
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Hillary
Christiansburg Elementary School, Christiansburg, U.S.A.
Photography courtesy of Virginia's Endangered Species
Why Study This Topic?
Have you ever wondered why a horse is called a horse,
or why a moose is called a moose? Have you ever wondered why an animal
is called what it is? Usually an animal has its name by what it looks like,
its habitat, or even its diet. I wanted to know which one of these possibilities
suited the Cliff Swallow. It was hard to decide at the beginning of my
research but as I learned more the answer became clear to me. Before this
research project I never would have known.
What Was Already Known
Before searching for the answer to my main question,
and an answer to many other question, I didn't know anything at all about
the Cliff Swallow. The three things that I knew were obvious. I only knew
that the Cliff Swallow is in the swallow family because the name told me
it's endangered because this project is for endangered species, and it's
a bird. If I hadn't done this research project, I wouldn't have become
aware of this endangered species.
Search for Information
. After a long and exotic search I succeeded in finding
the information I needed to know all about the Cliff Swallow. For a long
time, I had difficulty finding information. I went with my mother to work
at the public library in Christiansburg, Virginia several times and used
resources such as the encyclopedia, bird guides, and bird watcher's guides.
All of these books provided information that was required. I also scanned
the Internet for interesting facts. The Internet wasn't as helpful as I
thought, and I gained no information. With the books, I found I was able
to write this report. I didn't have many problems witht researching the
Cliff Swallow. The only problem was the Internet provided no information.
A bird the size of the Cliff Swallow could easily
fit in an adult's hand. The Cliff Swallow is only six inches long. As you
can tell, the Cliff Swallow is a small bird. This type of swallow has a
short beak and tail. The upper parts of the Cliff Swallow are steel blue
and the lower parts are white.
Cliff Swallows nest in colonies (that means they nest
together). The colonies of Cliff Swallows will choose their nesting site
between any vertical building, bridge, or a cliff.
Most birds eat the same diet. When you think about
what a bird eats, you would usually think of a bird eating insects and
bugs. That is exactly what the Cliff Swallow eats, insects and bugs. Throughout
the Cliff Swallow's adult life, it will eat flies, spiders, bees, gravel,
and berries. Also, on a Cliff Swallow's regular menu is other insects.
Baby Cliff Swallows will be fed softer insects. The parents do this so
it will be easier for their offspring to digest their food.
Reasons for Endangerment
Every animal whether it is a bird, reptile, or mammal
has a chance it could become endangered if it's ignored or taken advantage
of. Any animal could be harmed simply by not realizing wht youcould be
doing when you brush away something as simple as a bird's nest. For several
years people have been destroying the nests in which so many Cliff Swallows
raise their families. Each summer Cliff Swallows go to Virginia and build
a new nest and each summer many of them are destroyed. Because this has
lasted so long the Cliff Swallow's numbers quickly dropped and now the
Cliff Swallows are enlisted as endangered. Not many people realize how
important the nests are to a Cliff Swallow. If people don't realize it
soon an interesting bird could become extinct.
To help protect the Cliff Swallow, it is listed under
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is extremely important to never harm
a creature that is in danger of being extinct. Hopefully, being part of
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act will keep this elegant bird alive. .
What Was Learned
I learned many interesting things about the Cliff
Swallow. I learned that the Cliff Swallow is called the Cliff Swallow,
because these birds often nest on cliffs as well as buildings and bridges.
I also learned about birds in general and swallows too. I learned why the
Cliff Swallow is endangered and what I can do to help. I hope you have
Conclusions From Research
Through this report, I learned to be efficient and
to take care in the work that I do. I also learned to use many resources.
Terwilliger, Karen.1991. "Virginia's Endangered
Species" pp. 514,515
Audubon Societies, Birds of America. 1936. The Birder's
Handbook . Doubleday and Co., New York.
P. Ehrlich, D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. A Field
Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds. Simon and Schuster
Inc., New York.
R. Peterson. 1980. A Field Guide to the Birds East
of the Rockies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
to Bird page.
If you would like to add to these Endangered Species
pages then email your contributions to Christiansburg
© copyright 1997
Last updated on March 11, 1997