824. Hirundo rufula.
The European Striated Swallow.
Hirundo rufula, Temm. Man. 2e el. iii, p. 298 (1835); Wardlaw Ramsay. Ibis, 1880, p. 48; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 427; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 156. Hirundo scullii, Seebohm, Ibis, 1883, p. 167; Sharpe, Cat, B. M. x, p. 158.
Coloration. Resembles H. erythropygia, but has the striations on the lower plumage even finer, and the chestnut on the rump paling off to creamy white posteriorly : much larger.
Bill blackish ; iris blackish brown ; feet dark brown (Dresser).
Length about 7.5 ; tail 4; wing 4.8; tarsus .55; bill from gape .6 ; bifurcation of tail 2.3.
Mr. Seebohm has separated a small form of this species from Nepal as H. scullii. As this only differs from H. rufula in being very slightly smaller, I do not propose to keep it distinct. On examining the type of H. scullii, kindly lent to me for the purpose by Mr. Seebohm, I have strong doubts as to whether it belongs to H. rufula or to H. nepalensis. The rump pales slightly posteriorly it is true, but not more so than in many specimens of undoubted H. nepalensis ; the striations, however, on the lower plumage appear to me to be too coarse for H. rufula, Fortunately, the occurrence of this latter species within Indian limits rests on other evidence than that of this dubious specimen collected in Nepal, Dr. Scully having obtained H. rufula in Gilgit, where its presence was not unexpected. Major Wardlaw Ramsay also procured an undoubted specimen of this species at Byan Khel in Afghanistan, and this is deposited in the British Museum.
Distribution, Found in Gilgit in summer, and probably extends along the Himalayas to Nepal. This Swallow ranges westwards into Europe and Africa, and is also found in Central Asia.