cliff swallow


: a colonial swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) of the New World with a pale buff rump and dark throat patch that builds mud nests resembling jugs especially under eaves and on cliffs

Illustration of cliff swallow

Illustration of cliff swallow

Examples of cliff swallow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since last week, 16 species of North American land birds have been spotted in Britain and Ireland, including several species of warblers, one northern parula, 10 cliff swallows and three Baltimore orioles, Dr. Lees said. Derrick Bryson Taylor, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 At the end of the summer, Southern California waves goodbye to migrating cliff swallows, hooded orioles, and black-headed grosbeaks. Christianna Silva, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Sep. 2023 To the south in Iowa, boaters on the Upper Iowa River can enjoy towering limestone bluffs, natural springs, chimney rock formations, beaver dams and cliff swallow nests. Ellen Wulfhorst, USA TODAY, 29 May 2023 Other sightings around the Cape included 5 purple martins and a cliff swallow in Mashpee, a willet in West Dennis, a glaucous gull in Osterville, indigo buntings in Hyannis and Chatham, blue-gray gnatcatchers in Harwich and Eastham, and an early great-crested flycatcher and house wren in Orleans., 20 Apr. 2022 Guests are reminded of the city's iconic cliff swallows through the artistic check-in area background and the signature logo that's seen property-wide. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 13 Mar. 2023 Bulldozer, meet cliff swallow. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, 16 June 2021 Sightings included a willow flycatcher, a white-eyed vireo, a cliff swallow, two purple martins, and two Northern parulas., 19 June 2021 There are 30 or so cliff swallow nests, each on average holding five chicks. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, 11 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cliff swallow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cliff swallow was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near cliff swallow

Cite this Entry

“Cliff swallow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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