Hirundo erythropygia, Sykes.
85. :- Hirundo daurica, Lin. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 160 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 451; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 377; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 103; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 59.
THE RED-RUMPED SWALLOW.
Length, 6.5 to 7 ; expanse, 12.25 to 13 ; wing, 4.1 to 4.5; tail, 3 to 3.35 ; (the tail is forked to the extent of about 1.5 inches) ; tarsus, 0.46 ; bill from gape, 0.58 ; bill at front, 0.3.
Bill black; irides brown; legs black.
Above, blue-black; narrow supercilium; sides of the head, behind the ear-coverts, and rump ferruginous ; beneath rufescent-white, with dusky streaks ; terminal half or third of under tail-coverts abruptly black. Young more dull in its tints merely.
The Red-rumped Swallow occurs generally throughout our limits, but is more common in hilly districts (such as Mount Aboo) than in open country; most of them retire to the hills to breed about April, but a few remain ; and nests are occasionally found in the plains. The nest, constructed of pellets of mud lined with feathers, is affixed to the under-surface of a ledge of rock, the roof of a cave, the arch of a bridge, or some such similar place ; it is retort-shaped, having a bulb-like chamber at one end, with a tubular passage, sometimes seven or eight inches long at the' other; they continue to lengthen this passage, even after the eggs are laid. I have never myself found nests, of any other type than this, but Mr. Blewitt remarks that " they are eccentric to a degree in the selection of a suitable place for a nest, the form and material of which mainly depends on the locality ; in a hole, a simple collection of feathers answers, &c.," and is disposed to believe that these retort-shaped nests are merely intended for winter residences. I have many times watched the building of the nest and the rearing of the young in these same retort-shaped nests.
The eggs, three in number, are pure white in color, long ovals in shape, and average 0.78 in length by 0.55 in breadth.