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And the first swallows of the year arrived... last year!

As most swallow species are migratory, the number of swallows seen in Portugal varies greatly throughout the year. There are times when almost all of them are in Africa, and as the migration begins, some pass through Portugal on their way to the north, while others stay here to breed, thus increasing the number of swallows flying in our skies.

Even so, the peak of observations occurs when the birds that reproduced and were born in central and northern Europe join the birds that are here, preparing for another journey south in search of food.

Contrary to common sense and what popular culture tells us, the most difficult time to observe a swallow in Portugal is still in autumn . In the second fortnight of December and even before the beginning of winter, the first swallows of various species that are returning from Africa begin to arrive. And of course, the further south you go, the earlier the observations are!

So, if you see swallows, don't think that the world has turned upside down and that it is the result of climate change. It's normal for them to be around at this time. But beware: this doesn't mean that climate change doesn't affect the swallows' calendar or even their abundance. Not least because one of the factors responsible for their decline is climate change itself. We simply mean that the swallows begin to return from migration, as they always have done, still during winter!

Who has seen any swallows this year?

Good observations to all!


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