(1153) Hirundo rustica gutturalis.
The Eastern Swallow.
Hirundo gutturalis Scop., Del. Flor. et Faun. Insubr., ii, p, 93 (1786) (New Guinea); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 277.
Vernacular names as in the preceding bird. Nok-i-en (Siam).
Description. Differs from the Common Swallow in having much whiter underparts and in the chestnut of the chin and throat encroaching on to the pectoral band.
Colours of soft parts as in H r. rustica.
Measurements. Wing 112 to 125 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in Eastern Siberia from the Yenesei to Japan. Breeding birds from the high desert countries of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Gilgit, Ladakh, Northern Tibet and North-West China and all those breeding in the mountains South of the Brahmaputra must be accepted as this form. In winter it migrates to Eastern India, Burma, the Malay States and Islands, Indo-Burmese countries, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Philippines, South China, New Guinea and, occasionally, even to North Australia. In Western India it occurs in Sind, the Mekran coast, Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces. Birds breeding in Cachar, Manipur and the Northern Burmese hills are also referable to this race.
Nidification. In China these birds breed during May and June in temples, mosques or dwelling-houses and as they are considered lucky are never interfered with, but little boards are placed below the nests to prevent droppings falling on those living in the buildings. In North Cachar I found them breeding in the Naga houses at 4,000 feet upwards and, rarely, as low down as 2.500 feet in my own bungalow. The only twenty eggs I have been able to measure average 18.8x 13.4 mm.
Habits. Quite similar to those of the Common Swallow.