(1159) Hirundo daurica daurica.
The Daurian Striated Swallow.
Hirundo daurica Linn., Mant. Plant., p. 582 (1771) (Siberia) ; Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 282.
Vernacular names. Midili (Khasia).
Description. Lores black; a line over them chestnut; sides of the neck and behind the eye chestnut, produced on each side as a broken collar on the hind neck; upper plumage, lesser and median wing-coverts and upper tail-coverts glossy deep-blue; rump chestnut with obsolete or ill-defined black lines, sometimes altogether absent; tail dark brown; wing-quills and greater coverts blackish-brown, edged with glossy blue in quite freshly-moulted specimens; plumage below pale rufous with a rufous tinge, streaked throughout with blackish shaft-lines; under tail-coverts fulvous with broad black tips.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; legs and feet dark brown to blackish.
Measurements. Total length between 210 and 230 mm., according to length of tail; wing 120 to 131 mm., generally well over 125 mm.; tail 95 to 115 mm.; tarsus 14 to 15 mm.; culmen about 7 to 8 mm.
Distribution. Eastern Siberia, West to Trans-Baikalia, Amur, Ussuri. Mongolia, Kansu, Tibet and Assam.
Nidification, This Striated Swallow breeds in Trans-Baikalia in July, making a retort-shaped nest of mud under the eaves of buildings The lining is of feathers but sometimes, it is said, of wool. A rather isolated, but apparently regular, breeding place of this form is in the hills of Assam South and East of the Brahmaputra. In Shillong a few birds arrive every year in late July or early August and at once commence building in the offices and houses of that hill station, leaving immediately their family cares are finished in October; indeed, many birds leave at this time, deserting nests containing young or eggs, having suffered some mishap with their first brood. In the North they are said to lay four to six eggs but in Assam they lay three to five. They are pure white, almost glossless, fine in texture and rather pointed ovals in shape, though blunt eggs are not rare. Fifty eggs average 21.0 x 14.6 mm.: maxima 22.0 x 14.2 and 20.6 x 15.0 mm.; minima 16.4 x 13.6 and 17.3 x 13.1 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus and there is very little in them different to the habits of the Common Swallow. They are hardly truly migratory, for there is no great migration movement North to South in Winter; on the other hand, most birds leave their extreme Northern haunts during the coldest months and the few birds seen in Assam certainly only stay from June (Sadiya) to the end of October.