1142. Deliehon urbica cashmeriensis

(1142) Delichon urbica cashmeriensis Gould.
Delichon urbica cashmeriensis Fauna B, I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 228.
This House-Martin ranges from Afghanistan to Sikkim through Central and South Kashmir and Kuman and the outer hills. So far as I can ascertain they breed from about 5,000 feet up to about 8,000 feet, but I can find few records of their breeding at the great elevations frequented by the preceding bird, nor do they breed in Gilgit, whence the only breeding birds I have received have been typical urbica. At the same time it has been recorded that the latter bird does breed down to 5,000 feet in Gilgit, where also cashmeriensis has been said to breed up to 12,000 feet, while Ward refers to a colony breeding near Astormarg at 12,000 feet. In the British Museum also there are specimens of both birds received from Leh, obtained in the Summer months and presumably breeding.
The nest is just like that of the European House-Martin, a mud cup placed against a wall or cliff in such position that an overhanging rock or the eaves of the house form the roof to the nest.
The mud walls are formed of innumerable little pellets of mud obtained by the birds from any puddle, pool, lake-side, or river-side, worked into tiny almost liquid balls in the beak, and then attached to the sustaining wall and later to the fabric of the nest itself as this gradually increases in size. A small aperture, a little over an inch across, is left at the top, adjoining the rock roof and, finally, a dense lining of soft feathers is added. Sometimes scraps of grass, straw etc. are mixed with the feathers, hut this is not usual.
In India the normal breeding place is a cliff-face. On the North¬-West Frontier Whitehead found them “fairly numerous in Summer along the Safed Koh Range, nesting either singly or in small colonies under overhanging crags from 6,000 to 8,000 ft.”
Pitman found them breeding “in small colonies under rocks, on cliffs” round Dera Ismail Khan. In the Danga Galis Rattray saw colonies breeding on cliffs and many individual birds building; under the eaves of houses and in verandahs. Finally, in Kashmir, though most, birds breed in large or small colonics on cliff-faces, Ward and others have obtained many nests built under the eaves, of houses.
The. breeding season is June and July, though Pitman found one nest containing four fresh eggs as early as the 14th May.
The eggs number three or four in a clutch and are similar to those of the European House-Martin, but are much smaller.
Eighty eggs average 17.9 x 12.7 mm. : maxima 19.6 x 13.0 and 10.2 x 13.5 mm. ; minima 16.0 x 13.1 and 17.0 x 12.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1142. Deliehon urbica cashmeriensis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Kashmir House Martin
Delichon dasypus cashmeriense
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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