The swallow is a migratory bird quite familiar to residents of the Holy Land. Frequently on the move to warmer climates, swallows gather in huge flocks to travel thousands of miles. A chattering flock can make quite a racket (Is. 38:14). The psalmist makes an interesting distinction between the sparrow, who finds a home, and the swallow, who gets a nest (Ps. 84:3). Only a permanent resident needs a home. Some translations render the Hebrew word for swallow as thrush (Jer. 8:7), (NIV, NASB) or wryneck (Jer. 8:7), (NEB).
Swallows spend most of their time in the air, catching insects on the wing. They are beautiful birds, brightly colored, with forked tails.