- 4.7–5.9 in
- 10.6–11.8 in
- 0.4–0.6 oz
- Hirondelle à ailes hérissées (French)
- Golondrina ala de sierra, Golondrina alirraspos, Norteña (Spanish)
- The function of the rough wing edge of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow is not known.
- The barbs on the primary feathers of the male Northern Rough-winged Swallow are distinctly hooked; those of the female are smaller and straighter. Running a finger from base to tip along the barbed wing edge yields a sensation similar to that of touching a rough file.
- The Greek genus name of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx, means "scraper wing;" the Latin species name, serripennis, means "saw feather."
- In one documented case, a Northern Rough-winged Swallow pair nested inside a Civil War cannon.
- The oldest recorded Northern Rough-winged Swallow was a male, and at least 5 years, 11 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased in California.
Breeds in a wide variety of open habitats, with openings in various vertical surfaces, including banks, gorges, and human structures.
- Clutch Size
- 4–8 eggs
- Egg Description
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless with sparse down.
Nests in burrows or cavities in various substrates. Probably uses burrows made by other species, but may dig its own nest.
Catches insects in flight, often close to ground or water surface.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow populations declined by 26% between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 15 million with 81% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 53% in Mexico, and 8% breeding in Canada. They rate a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not listed in the 2014 State of the Birds Report. These swallows generally adapt well to environments affected by human activity.
- DeJong, M. J. 1996. Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis). In The Birds of North America, No. 234 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
- Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. Longevity records of North American Birds.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2014. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2014 Analysis.