SWALLOWS DEPART FROM SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO DAY
On October 23rd, the Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day marks the migration of thousands of swallows.
The famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano leave town every year in a swirling mass near the Day of San Juan (October 23). They head for their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. Each year, they return on or about March 19th – St. Joseph Day. Their migration has been marked for generations.
Cliff swallows are cousins of barn swallows and purple martins.
Swallows have long, narrow wings, forked tails, and weak, tiny feet. Incredibly graceful in flight, they feed on the wing, catching insects in their wide mouths; they can effortlessly make abrupt changes in direction or speed as they feed.
The cliff swallow has a rusty rump, and when seen from below, it appears to have a squared-off tail and a dark patch on the throat.
HOW TO OBSERVE SWALLOWS DEPART FROM SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO DAY
Learn more about cliff swallows and their family members. Sketch or photograph them. Watch videos of them in flight. Study their habitat and follow their migration path. Listen to a recording of their song. Use #SwallowsDepartFromSanJuanCapistranoDay to post on social media.
SWALLOWS DEPART FROM SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this migration day.