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The differences between a barn swallow, a purple martin, and chimney swift?

What are the differences between a barn swallow, a purple martin, and a chimney swift? I think I have been misidentifying these all my life.

Backyard Expert - Brian Cassie

In Barn Swallows, the sexes are alike and the birds are dark above, light buff below, and have a very deeply forked tail. In Purple Martins, the sexes have different plumages - males are all dark purplish black; females are dark above and light below, both sexes with slightly forked tails. In Chimney Swifts, the sexes are alike and the birds are very dark brown all over, with a very short tail and rapid, twittering wingbeats. Swallows and martins sit around on wires, etc; swifts do not.

Brian Cassie

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