(1164) Hirundo daurica hyperythra.
The Ceylon Striated Swallow.
Hirundo hyperythra Layard, Blyth, J. A. S. B., xviii, p. 814 (1849) (Ceylon) ; Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 284.
Vernacular names. Wehilihiniya (Cing.); Tam-padi, adaikalan-Kuruvi; talai-illatha-kuruvi (Tamil).
Description. Differs from all other races in having the whole of the lower parts deep chestnut and the rump a much darker chestnut also; the striations below are faint and narrow and there are none on the rump; the chestnut collar is absent or ill-defined.
Colours of soft parts. " Iris sepia-brown ; bill blackish-brown ; legs and feet vinous-brown " (Wait).
Measurements. Wing 102 to 122 mm.; tail 75 to 78 mm.; tarsus about 12 to 13 mm.; culmen about 7 mm.
Distribution. Ceylon only.
It is with some diffidence I have retained this Swallow as a subspecies of daurica as there is a considerable gap in colour between the darkest specimens of H. d. daurica and the chestnut underparts of this bird. On the other hand, we have an analogous case of white to chestnut underparts in Hirundo rustica and its various geographical races. It would appear to be one of those instances in which isolation has developed acquired characteristics to such an advanced stage that differences, at first merely sub-specific, have attained specific value.
Nidification. Wait describes the nest as " a solid retort-shaped structure of mud, glued into the under surface of a verandah roof, the arch of a bridge, or culvert, or the roof of a rock cave. The interior is lined with a felted layer of feathers." The eggs are pure white and glossless. Two eggs in Mr. Wait's collection measure about 24.0 x 14.4 mm.; these are perhaps unusually large.
The breeding-season is from April to June.
Habits. The Ceylon Striated Swallow is resident in Ceylon up to about 3,000 feet and on the Uva plateaus up to 4.000 feet. It hawks for insects in company with, other Swallows over rivers, tanks and marshes as well as round towns and villages and Wait says that it can be distinguished from the Eastern Swallow by its somewhat heavier, slower flight.