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Cliff Swallows

Cliff swallows are a migratory bird, typically nesting in colonies near cliffs or other structures like the bridges around High Rock Lake. They are small birds, around 5.5 inches in length, with brown upperparts and white, orange, and brown underparts. To photograph these beautiful birds, find a nesting site and set up a long telephoto lens. Be sure to keep your distance to avoid disturbing the nesting process. Cliff swallows are a great subject for nature photography, so don't forget to bring your camera!


According to Cornell University, cliff swallows can be found all over the United States during the spring and summer. Then in the fall they abandon their nests and head to South America for the winter. Even though Cornell's breeding map doesn't show High Rock Lake within the normal nesting range, large colonies of the birds can be found on bridges near waterways all over the North Carolina Piedmont. They often nest in very large colonies and spend most of their day hunting for insects. Cornell's website has some great info about this little birds. You can find the link by clicking here. 

Cliff Swallows of High Rock Lake Gallery

The gallery below contains various shots of cliff swallow colonies from around High Rock Lake. Keep checking back because we plan to keep adding pics. 

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