Mostly common near farms and villages, it is less urban than the Swift, with which it is sometimes confused.
Its has steel blue upperparts contrasting with the white belly, a brick-red throat and a black band across the chest. His cousin the House Martin has a white throat and a white rump. Its forked tail is extended by two streamers, longer in the male than in the female.
It often perches on electric wires, sometimes in large and noisy flocks. The Swallow builds its nest with strands of straw and with mud found on the ground and kneaded in its beak to make a kind of cement. It is so accustomed to the presence of man that it builds its nest in the houses, especially in the farms, near the cattle, where it is warmer. Sparrows sometimes come to dislodge them.
In recent years, the number of traditional farms has been declining and Swallows too, and there is concern that pesticides used to protect crops have greatly reduced the amount of insects they can hunt. They spend the winter in West Africa, and as far as South Africa for some populations.