Cypsellus affinis, J. E. Gr.
100. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 177 ; Butler, Deccan ' Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 379 ; Guzerat, Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 454 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 105; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 60.
THE COMMON INDIAN SWIFT.
Length, 5.5; extent, 12 ; wing, 5 ; tail, 1.75.
Bill black; irides deep brown, feet dusky.
Above brown-black, darkest on the back, and glossed with green; head brownish, paler on the forehead; chin, throat, and rump white; rest of body beneath brownish-black ; the tail is nearly even, with the feathers not pointed.
The Common Indian Swift is abundant throughout the whole district, and is a permanent resident; it has at least two broods in the year, and eggs may be taken, I believe, the whole year through. They are very accommodating in the choice of nesting sites, and I have found them in all the following places: :-
In holes in the faces of old walls, mosques, and forts; in these cases the nests are detached, unless the hole happens to be large enough to contain more than one.
On the roofs of caves, they occur in large clusters, containing over fifty or a hundred nests.
Under the eaves of houses, tombs, &c, several nests are found together, with a few detached ones.
In the doorways and roofs of stables, or between closely set beams or rafters.
I never saw so many nests as at Hyderabad, Sind, where the favorite nesting place seemed to be under the roofs of the domed canopies that are built over the Mirs tombs; almost every one of them had an immense cluster or congeries of nests affixed round the central portion of the dome ; these nests are composed of agglutinated saliva of the birds, mixed with feathers and occasional straws ; they are of every conceivable shape and size, so as to fit in with each other.
The eggs, two or three in number, are elongated ovals, and glossless white in color; they vary considerably in size, but average 087 by 057 inches.