The swallows and martins are a group of passerine birds in the family Hirundinidae. These birds are adapted to aerial feeding. "Swallow" is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow.
Within the swallow, the name "martin" tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name "swallow" for the more fork-tailed species. However, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. The family contains around 83 species in 19 genera.