805. Chelidon kashmiriensis.
The Kashmir Martin.
Chelidon cashmeriensis, Gould, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 356; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 167; Hume, N. & E. p. 84; id. Cat. no. 93; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 47, 1882, p. 269; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 90; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 177.
The Cashmere House Martin, Jerd.
Coloration. Very similar to C. urbica, but with the whole lower plumage pale smoky brown and the axillaries darker brown. The shaft-lines on the rump are generally coarser.
This species and the preceding are so closely allied that they can only be separated with certainty when full-grown and when the tail is perfect. In C. urbica the difference between the middle and the outermost pair of tail-feathers varies from half to three-quarters of an inch, whereas in C. kashmiriensis, it is never more than a quarter of an inch. C. urbica is a larger bird.
Length about 5 ; tail 2.1; wing 4; tarsus .5 ; bill from gape .45.
Distribution. The series of this bird in the Hume Collection is little better than that of C. urbica. There are three adult specimens from Sikhim (April) ; one nearly adult from the Sutlej valley ; five from Kashmir ; two from Gilgit (May and July) ; one from Hazara (November); one from Garhwal (December) ; and a solitary specimen from the plains, obtained by Blanford at Bilaspur in the Central Provinces in April.
This species ascends the Himalayas up to 12,000 or 13,000 feet, and it appears to breed along the whole range, from Kashmir to Sikhim. Its range in the plains is quite unknown.
Habits, &c. Breeds in Kashmir in April and May, and probably a second time later on, constructing a mud nest, shallow and cup-shaped, in the hollows of rocks, many birds breeding together. The eggs are not known, but will undoubtedly prove to be pure white.