1156. Hirundo javanica domieola

(1156) Hirundo javanica domicola Jerdon.
THE NILGIRI SMALL House-SWALLOW.
Hirundo javanica domicola, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd vol. iii, p. 244.
The breeding range of this Swallow is Ceylon and the hills of South-West India to the Nilgiris. In Travancore it is common from 4,000 feet upwards, while in the Nilgiris it has been recorded down to as low as 3,000 feet. In Ceylon it frequents the higher ranges and is very common near Newara Eliya, but has also been recorded occasionally at 2,000 feet.
Both in Ceylon, the Nilgiris and in Travancore this Swallow makes its nest either on rocks, road-side cuttings or under the eaves of houses. Wait (‘Birds of Ceylon,’ 2nd ed. p. 127) writes .—“The most familiar Swallow in the higher hills. The birds often have a regular beat and are fond of the steep-sided railway cuttings through cabook (laterite), which are so common on the up-country line. They are fearless of man and frequently build their nests in the eaves of verandahs or even inside rooms. They are, however, equally ready to breed on little ledges on the face of rocks, or in cabook cuttings, and I have found the nest in the entrance of a railway tunnel.”
* As pointed out in vol. viii, p, 659, of the ‘Fauna,’ Kloss considers domicola and javanica to bo races of rahitica Gmelin.
In the Nilgiris, Miss Cockburn writes (Hume’s 'Nests and Eggs'), they “appear to prefer erecting their little nests in verandahs and eaves of outhouses,” while Wait found them placed both under eaves and under bridges, open sheds etc., and Morgan also found nests on large rocks and cliffs.
The nest is generally so built that it is more or less protected from the weather, for it is just the usual open half-saucer of mud-pellets lined with feathers, and is soon damaged or completely destroyed by storms or heavy rain. Occasionally two or three pairs of birds may build in the same verandah or building, but they never nest in colonies.
Wait gives the measurement of a Coonoor nest as 2.1/2 inches in diameter.
Davison says that in the Nilgiris the breeding season is from February to April, two broods being reared in quick succession. Packard found that most eggs at Ootacamund were laid in March. Cardew took some in April, and Howard Campbell took them from March to June, two broods being almost invariably hatched.
In Ceylon Wait gives the breeding season as “April to June and again in September,” while Tunnard took eggs in December and March, but observed birds commencing to build a nest in October which, though not deserted, contained no eggs until December. The lining of this nest was partially composed of bits of stick picked up outside the tea-factory under one of the windows of which the nest was built.
The eggs number two to four and are like those of the preceding bird. ‘
Fifty eggs average 17.4 x 12.5 mm. : maxima 19.5 x 13.6 and 19.0 x 14.2 mm. ; minima 15.7 x 12.0 mm.
Both birds take part in building the nest and in incubation. Several observers have also noticed that those Swallows, like the Common Swallow, return again and again to the same nesting site, either repairing the old nest, if necessary, or merely removing the old, and putting in fresh, lining.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1156. Hirundo javanica domieola
Spp Author: 
Jerdon.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1156
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
114
Common name: 
Nilgiri Small House Swallow
M_ID: 
22521
M_CN: 
Hill Swallow
M_SN: 
Hirundo domicola
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14242

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