At the time of settlement of the United States, there apparently was only one area in the country uninhabited by the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), and that was the Southeast then principally a wooded area of virgin forests. Even later when Dr. Arthur H. Howell wrote his Birds of Alabama published in 1924 (containing data through 1921), there had been only one known nesting record, that being an 1892 nest under a bridge at Tuscumbia in the Tennessee Valley (FWM). However, as many changes brought by man, such as clearing of fields and construction of barns, bridges and highways, have created habitat and nesting sites favored by the Barn Swallow, it has gradually increased its presence in the state and may now be said to be in somewhat of a population explosion. By the time of Alabama Birds by Thomas A. Imhof in 1962 (containing data through August, 1961, with its second edition due to be published in the fall of 1976), the birds had become at least locally common in the Tennessee Valley and DeKalb County in the Appalachians at the northeast corner of the state. The population in those areas has grown so that the Barn Swallow is now a reasonably common bird in the Tennessee Valley, being regularly observed on all breeding bird routes conducted there under auspices of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Author: Robert R. Reid, Jr.
Volume Number: 23 Year Published: 1975
Issue Number: 3-4
Page Number: 3
Link to article: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1975/Vol 23 No. 3, 4_1975_p3-11.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1975/Vol 23 No. 3, 4_1975.pdf