Swallow

Swallow volant (Period)

Swallow volant (Period)

The swallow is a speedy bird whose migratory habits were known to medieval naturalists.  Its notable feature is its forked tail, which is exaggerated in armorial emblazons.  The swallow is a period charge, found in the canting arms of Swalow, c.1395 [DBA3 371].  The illustration shows a swallow volant.

The Society also has examples of the “swift”, an heraldically indistinguishable bird.  For related charges, see martlet.

Laurencia of Carlisle bears:  Per chevron ermine and gules, a swallow volant argent.

John of Ean Airgead, called the Mad Celt, bears:  Vert, a chimney swift migrant palewise argent.

Myfanwy Dolwyddelan bears:  Quarterly azure and vert, in bend two swallows volant Or.

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