I had a little luck this weekend, having only went out wildlifing one time.
I found a very cooperative Barn Swallow perched with some nesting mud. It's my first close up of a barn swallow only because, for once, he wasn't flying, soaring, manuevering, as they constantly do...
What a handsome fellow!
Source: All About Birds:
A familiar inhabitant of barns and other outbuildings, the Barn Swallow is easily recognized by its long forked tail. It was originally a cave breeder, but now the swallow nests almost exclusively on man-made structures.
The Barn Swallow is the most abundant and widely distributed swallow species in the world. It breeds throughout the northern hemisphere and winters in much of the southern hemisphere.
The long tail of a Barn Swallow may indicate the quality of the individual bird. Females prefer to mate with males that have the longest and most symmetrical tails.
An unmated male Barn Swallow may kill the nestlings of a nesting pair. His actions often succeed in breaking up the pair and afford him the opportunity to mate with the female.
Female Barn Swallows favor males that have a darker reddish chest color.