822. Hirundo nepalensis.
Hodgson's Striated Swallow.
Hirundo nipalensis, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. v, p. 780 (1836); Hume, Cat. no. 85 bis; Oates, B. B. i, p. 306; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 160 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 195. Hirundo daurica, Linn., Blyth, Cat. p. 198 (pt.); Horsf. & M, Cat. i, p. 92 (pt.); Jerd. B. I. i, p. 160 (pt.). Cecropis aretivitta, Swinh. P. Z. S. 1871, p. 346. Lillia daurica (Linn.) apud Hume, N. & F. p. 78. Lillia nipalensis (Hodgs.), Hume, S. F. v, p. 262.
The Red-rumped Swallow, Jerd.
Coloration. Merely a small form of H. striolata, the wing seldom exceeding 4.7, and being frequently under 4.5 ; the colour of the lower plumage is also more rufous and the striations rather less coarse ; very few of the feathers of the rump have black shafts, while many are fringed paler.
The expediency of separating this form from H. striolata may be questioned by many and with much justice. Having regard, however, to the fact that no Swallow of this type either from the Himalayas or from the plains of India ever attains the size of the true H. striolata, nor has the striations on the lower plumage as coarsely marked, nor those on the rump as numerous or distinct, I am inclined to consider the two races sufficiently well differentiated to be easily recognizable, notwithstanding that a few birds may occasionally be met with which it is difficult to assign to the one species or the other with certainty.
Distribution, Every portion of the Empire, breeding along the whole extent of the Himalayas, and visiting the plains in the winter months.
This species extends into China, where it appears to be common, and it ranges as far as Japan.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas from April to August, constructing a retort-shaped nest like that of H. fluvicola in the verandahs of houses, and on rocks and cliffs. The eggs are pure white, and measure about .85 by .55.