(1162) Hirundo daurica erythropygia.
Sykes's Striated Swallow.
Hirundo erythropygia Sykes, B. Z. S., 1832, p. 83 (Poona) ; Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 283.
Vernacular names. Masjid-ababil (Hind.).
Description. Very similar to H. d. striolata. The rump has no striations or these are very faint.; the lower surface is white, the breast, flanks and abdomen are tinged with fulvous and the striae even more narrow and scanty than in H. d. daurica.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 101 to 111 mm.; tail 65 to 82 mm.; tarsus 12 to 13 mm.; culmen 7 to 8 mm.
Distribution. The whole of India from the foot of the Himalayas, South to the Nilgiris as a breeding bird and wandering into Travancore and Ceylon in Winter. East it is found commonly in Western Bengal and, rarely, as far East as Calcutta.
Nidification. Sykes's Striated Swallow breeds from April to-August over the greater part of India, ascending to the highest hills in the South of India and to about 3,000 or 3,500 feet in the Himalayas. Jones took several nests in the Bhagat State at the lower of these elevations. The nest is of the usual retort shape and is built on any kind of building, under culverts and bridges or against rock and walls etc. The eggs number three or four and are pure white. Sixty eggs average 21.0 x 14.4 mm.: maxima 21.8 X 14.0 and 20.9 X 15.0 mm.; minima 17.8 X 13.9 and 18.5 x 12.9 mm.
These Swallows breed as a rule singly but sometimes collect in small colonies from half-a-dozen to a score of nests. They often have two broods and occasionally three in a year and, even after the last young have left, the old birds continue to roost in the nests.
Habits. This Swallow is a resident species wherever found, though it may move locally under pressure of want of food or other conditions. They are very familiar birds and, though found sometimes far from human habitations, seem to prefer towns and villages to wilder country. In their general habits they differ in no way from other Swallows but their notes have been described as softer and more musical.