Hirundo gutturalis

L'Hirondelle d’Antigue, Sonn. Voy. Nouv. Guinee, p. 118, pl. lxxvi. (1776).
L' Hirondelle d' Antigue a gorge couleur de rouille, Month. Hist. Nat. Ois. vi. p. 607 (1779).
Panayan Swallow, Lath. Gen. Syn. ii. pt. 2, p. 565 (1783).
Hirundo gutturalis, Scop. Del. Flor, et Faun. Insubr, ii. p. 96 (1786) ; Temm. Man. d’Orn, i. p. 427 (1820) ; Gray, Gen. B. i. p. 57 (1845) ; Blyth, J. A. S. Beng. xvi. p. 117 (1847) ; Gray, Cat. Fiss. Brit. Mus. p. 22 (1848) ; Cab. Mus. Hein. Th. i. p. 46 (1850) ; Cass. Cat. Hirund. Philad. Mus. p. 1 (1853) ; Gray, P. Z. S. 1860, p. 365 ; Swinh. Ibis, 1860, pp. 48, 428, 1861, p. 30, 1863, p. 255, 1867, p. 411, 1870, pp. 90, 240 ; id. P. Z. S. 1871, p. 346 ; Jerd. Ibis, 1871, p. 351 ; Dybowski, J. f. O. 1872, p. 351 ; Wald. Tr. Z. S. viii. p. 65 (1872) ; Swinh. Ibis, 1874, p. 151 ; Wald. Tr. Z. S. ix. p. 181 (1875) ; Salvad. Ann. Mus. Civic. Genov, ix. pp. 55, 64 (1876) ; Tacz. Bull. Soc. Zool. France, i. p. 133 (1876, pt.) ; Blakist. Ibis, 1876, p. 331 ; Hume, Str. F. iv. p. 286 (1876), v. p. 17 (1877) ; Tweedd. P. Z. S. 1877, pp. 545, 694 ; Prjew. in Dawson Rowley’s Orn. Misc. ii. p. 160 (1877) ; David & Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 124 (1877, pt.) ; Hume & Davison, Str. F. vi. p. 11 (1878) ; Cripps, Str. F. vii. p. 256 (1878) ; Salvad. Ann. Mus. Civic. Genov, xiv. p. 490 (1879) ; Meyer, Ibis, 1879, p. 128 ; Hume, Str. F. viii. pp. 47, 84 (1879) ; Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1879, p. 344 ; Seebohm, Ibis, 1879, p. 29 ; Hume, Str. F. ix. p. 245 (1880) ; Tweedd. Rep. Voy. ‘Challenger,' ii. Birds, p. 18 (1880) ; Bingham, Str. F. x. p. 148 (1881) ; Sclater, Rep. Voy. ‘Challenger,' ii. p. 116 (1880) ; Kelham, Ibis, 1881, p. 372 ; Salvad. Orn. Papuasia e delle Molueehe, ii. p. 1 (1881) ; Blakiston & Pryer, B. Japan, p. 130 (1882) ; Jouy, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. vi. p. 290 (1883) ; Pleske, Bull. Acad. St. Petersb, xxix. p. 528 (1884) ; Meyer, Sitz. Ges. ‘Isis,’ Dresden, 1884, Abth. i. p. 6 ; Blakist. Amended List B. Japan, p. 14 (1884) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. x. p. 134 (1885) ; Guillem. P.Z.S. 1885 p. 569 ; Vorderm. N. T. Nederl. Ind. xli. p. 192 (1882) ; W. Blasius, Zeitschr, ges. Orn. iii. p. 108 (1886) ; Styan, Ibis, 1887, p. 227 ; Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1887, p. 142 ; id. Ibis, 1887, p. 200 ; Blasius, Ornis, iv. p. 580 (1888) ; Everett, Journ. Straits Branch Vs. Soc. 1889, p. 134 ; Steere, List B. & Mamm. Exped. Philipp, p. 16 (1890) ; Oates, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, ii. p. 277 (1890) ; Seebohm, Ibis, 1890, p. 102 ; Salvad. Agg. Orn. Pap. ii. p. 69 (1890) ; Styan, Ibis, 1891, pp. 323. 351 ; De la Touche, Ibis, 1892, p. 425.
Hirundo panayana, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 1018 (1788) ; Moore, P. Z. S. 1854, p. 264 ; Horsf. & Moore, Cat. B. E. I. Co. Mus. i. p. 91 (1854).
Hirundo jewan, Sykes, P.Z.S. 1832, p. 83 ; Jerd. Madr. Journ, xi. p. 237 (1840).
Hirundo rustica (nec L.), Meyen, Nova Acta Acad. CAES. Leop.-Car. Nat. Cur. Suppl. Taf. 10. fig. 1 (1834) ; Blyth, Cat. B. Mus. As. Soc. p. 197 (1849, pt.) ; Temm. & Schl. Faun. Japon., Aves, p. 31 (1850) ; Swinh. Ibis, 1861, pp. 254, 328, & 1863, p. 89 ; Jerd. B. Ind. i. p. 157 (1862, pt.) ; Scl. P. Z. S. 1863, p. 217 ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 68, no. 786 (1869, pt.) ; Holdsw. P.Z.S. 1872, p. 418 ; Hayes Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 405 ; Sharpe, Trans. Linn. Soc., 2nd ser. Zool. i. p. 328 (1876) ; Anderson, Zool. Yun-nan Exped., Birds, p. 649 (1878) ; Blakist. & Pryer, Ibis, 1878, p. 320 ; Oates, B. Brit. Burm. i. p. 302 (1883).
Cecropis payana. Less. Compl. Buff. viii. p. 498 (1837).
Cecropis jewan, Less. t. c. p. 499 (1837) ; Boie, Isis, 1844, p. 174.
Cecropis rusticoides, Boie, Isis, 1844, p. 174 (ex Kuhl, MS.).
Cecropis panayana, Boie, t. c.
Hirundo javanica (nec Sparrm.), Bp. Consp, i. p. 338 (1850) ; Berust. J. f. O. 1859, p. 267 ; Blakist. Ibis, 1862, pp. 315, 316 ; Whitely, Ibis, 1867, p. 196.
Hirundo rustica, var. rufa (pt.), Midd. Sibir. Reise, Vog. p. 188 (1851) ; Schrenck, Reis. Amurl, i. p. 387 (1860) ; Radde, Reis. im Sud. v. Ost-Sibir. ii. p. 278 (1863).
Hirundo fretensis, Gould, Handb. B. Austr, i. p. 110 (1865) ; Gray, Hand-1. B. i. p. 70, no. 815 (1869) ; Diggles, Orn. Austr, text to pl. 22 (c. 1870).
Hirundo frenata (lapsu cal.), Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 336 ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 70, no. 816 (1869).
Hirundo andamanensis, Tytler & Beav. Ibis, 1867, p. 316 ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 68, no. 791 (1869) ; Ball, Str. F. 1873, p. 55 ; Hume, Str. F. 1874, p. 155, & 1876, p. 286.
Hirundo rustica, var. gutturalis, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. ii. p. 171 (1883).
Hirundo kamtschatika, Dybowski, Bull. Soc. Zool. France, viii. p. 356 (1883).
Hirundo rustica gutturalis, Dyb. & Tacz. Bull. Soc. Zool. France, ix. p. 152 (1884) ; Hartert, J. f. O. 1889, pp. 354, 389 ; Seebohm, Ibis, 1890, p. 102 ; id. B. Jap. Emp. p. 141 (1890) ; Tacz. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sci. St. Petersb. (7) xxxix. p. 174 (1891).
Hirundo rustica borealis, Dyb. & Tacz. t. c. p. 152.
Chelidon gutturalis, Stejneger, Bull. U. S. Nat. Mus. no. 29, p. 271 (1885).
Chelidon kamtschatica, Stejneger, Bull. U. S. Nat. Mus. no. 29, p. 330 (1885).
H. similis H. rustica, sed minor, et fascia praepectorali interrupta distinguenda.
Hab. in Siberia orientali, in peniusnla Indica, in regione Indo-Sinensi et Indo-Malayana, et in insulis Moluccauis hiberuans.
Adult male. General colour above glossy purplish blue, streaked with the white bases to the feathers of the mantle ; wing-coverts like the back ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills blackish, washed externally with glossy blue ; tail-feathers blackish washed with blue, all but the centre ones with a large oval spot of white on the inner web, forming an oblique patch on the outer¬most feather ; forehead dark chestnut ; lores blackish ; ear-coverts purplish blue ; checks and entire throat chestnut ; the sides of the fore neck purplish blue, the collar not complete, but slightly broken with a few blue spots on the feathers ; remainder of under surface from the chest downwards white, including the thighs and under tail-coverts, the flanks with a very faint tinge of smoky brown ; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale smoky brown, the outer edge of the wings mottled with dusky bases to the feathers ; quills dusky below : “bill black ; feet brown ; iris black ” (David). Total length 6.7 inches, culmen 0.35, wing 4.6, tail 3.4 tarsus 0.5.
Adult female. Similar in colour to the male. Total length 6.2 inches, culmen 0.4, wing 4.7, tail 3, tarsus 0.45.
Obs. If one accepts the broken pectoral collar as the best sign of distinction between H. gutturalis and H. rustica, it will be found to be so only in the majority of specimens, and by no means invari¬ably ; in fact there is as much variation with H. gutturalis in the direction of H. tytleri or H. erythrogastra, as there is between H. rustica and H. savignii, for many undoubted examples of H. gutturalis are rufescent below, although there is never such a decided tint as in full-plumaged H. rustica.
Young birds from Amoy are not to be distinguished from the young of H. rustica from England ; and one in Mr. Seebohm's collection has quite as broad a collar as any English specimen.
Hab. Eastern Siberia and Kamtschatka, the Japanese Islands and Northern China, ranging south in winter to India, the Indo-Malayan Sub-Region, and the Moluccas as far as Northern Australia.
The Eastern Chimney-Swallow is a smaller bird than the true Hirundo rustica of Europe, and is distinguished by the interrupted black collar on the fore neck, which is never complete in the Eastern bird ; the under surface of the body is also whiter in fully adult birds of H. gutturalis, and there is less rufous tinge on the underparts, though many of the old birds show a certain amount of this rufous colour on the breast, and abdomen. We have already (supra, p. 217) spoken of the intermediate specimens which frequently occur between H. gutturalis and H. rustica, and it is extremely difficult to apportion the synonymy of these two species, as many records of isolated occurrences may belong to the intermediate form, and that only.
In the British Museum the specimens of true H. gutturalis are from the following localities:—Japan ; Amoy ; Canton ; Formosa ; Siam ; Pegu ; Tenasserim ; Andaman Islands ; Malacca ; Java ; Sumatra ; Labuan ; Sarawak : Luzon ; Celebes : Batchian ; Halmahera ; Bourou ; Amboina ; Pelew Islands ; and the north coast of Australia.
In the Indian Peninsula and the Indo-Burmese countries, examples have been sent from the following places:—Kathiawar ; Kamptee ; Mhow ; Maunbhum ; Dibrughur ; Shillong ; Sadhyia ; Sylhet, and Manipur.
The localities of the intermediate specimens in the British Museum collection have already been enumerated under the heading of H. rustica, and we believe that the accounts given below may be taken as undoubtedly belonging to H. gutturalis.
An awkward piece of tangled synonymy has occurred with regard to the Kamt-schatkan Swallows, which has been unravelled by Dr. Stejneger, in his “Results of Ornithological Explorations in the Commander Islands and in Kamtschatica” (Bull. U. S. Nat. Mus. no. 29, p. 330). Dr. Dybowski and the late Professor Taczanowski have described two Swallows from Kamtschatka as H. kamtschatica and H. borealis. We find from the posthumous work of Dr. Taczanowski that the former is referred to H. tytleri, and H. borealis to H. gutturalis ; and Mr. Stolzmann kindly sent us the “types” of H. kamtschatica for examination. They are the chestnut-breasted H. tytleri, and it is quite possible that Dr. Dybowski intended to name the rufous-coloured bird H. kamtschatica, but in his description he says, “Abdomen et sous-caudales blancs.” There can be little doubt but that the form he here diagnosed was the white-bellied H. borealis, for which a similar description is provided. In the work of Dr. Stejneger above quoted, the whole subject is most thoroughly treated, and we fully endorse all that he says. However unfortunate the mistake in the original descriptions, the characters as published must be held to be the responsible ones, and therefore the name of H. kamt¬schatica must be attached to the white-bellied Swallow. As both this name and that of H. borealis were afterwards admitted by Taczanowski to be synonyms of H. gutturalis and H. tytleri, no radical change in nomenclature is involved.
An excellent account of the distribution of the present species in Eastern Siberia is given by Taczanowski in the work published by the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg after his death ; and from this many of the following facts have been compiled.
Dr. Stejneger did not meet with the Eastern Chimney-Swallow in Kamtschatka, but Dr. Dybowski procured a specimen at Petropaulowski on the 4th of June, 1882, and observed several passing northward in spring. In Siberia the species apparently does not extend to the Yenesei, as the specimens procured by Mr. Seebohm in that district were true H. rustica, and the intermediate form between the latter and H. gutturalis. In fact Taczanowski declares that after examining a large series of SWALLOWS from Siberia and North-eastern Asia, he finds the white-breasted birds only from the Ussuri country and Amoor Land, but he admits that little attention has been paid by collectors to the different forms, and thus it seems better to regard the bulk of the statements referring to Eastern Siberian Swallows as referring to H. gutturalis, making no distinction between the form with pure white breast and abdomen and that in which these parts are slightly tinged with rufous. Seeing that in their winter homes both H. rustica and H. gutturalis often occur side by side it would not be surprising that they often interbred, after their arrival in their summer-quarters.
Although the Russian travellers did not clearly discriminate between the forms of Chimney-Swallow which they met with in Eastern Siberia, yet their various statements have been apportioned to the different forms to which they belong by Dr. Stejneger and Dr. Taczanowski. According to the latter, both Dybowski and Godlewski recognized the Swallow of the Ussuri country as different from the form found in Dauria, the southern Baikal country, and the neighbourhood of Irkutsk. The bird of the latter regions was doubtless H. tytleri.
Middendorff found the Swallow only an accidental visitor at Touroukhansk. Schrenck states that it is common and numerous in the Amoor country, appearing about the middle of May, as they were building plentifully on the 2nd of June. They arc great favourites with the natives and are protected by them.
Speaking of the work of Middendorff and Schrenck, Dr. Stejneger gives the following interesting note on the distribution of Hirundo gutturalis and H. tytleri:—“ Usually it is nearly impossible to extricate the observations belonging to the different forms, but in this case the difference between Chelidon gutturalis and C. tytleri was too great for even von Schrenck to ignore altogether, though he by no means suspects them of being separable, much less understands the importance of keeping them separate. Fortunately his remarks enable us to decide which forms he and Middendorff collected at two very important localities. Speaking of the ‘Hirundo gutturalis, var. rufa,' which he found throughout the Amur Valley (Reis. Amur-Lande, i. p. 387), he observes that it was ‘much paler than the old male among Middendorff’s specimens from Udskij Ostrog, and only slightly darker than the old male of the European Barn-Swallow ..... The black band of the fore neck is only narrow and contains some rusty-brown spots.’ This description is quite sufficient to identify the Amur Valley bird as C. gutturalis, while, on the other hand, the remark plainly shows that the bird which Middendorff collected at Udskij Ostrog, at the mouth of the Uda Valley, is Chelidon, tytleri. This determination is extremely interesting, since the valleys of the two rivers Amur and Uda are close together, only being separated by the Bureja Mountains ; but the direction of the Amur and Ussuri is southern, while Uda comes from the west. The Stanovoj Mountains, which until this point run close to the shore of the Okotsk Sea, make here a sudden bend to the westward, leading over to Dauria and Transbaikalia. According to Middendorff (‘Isepiptesen Russl.' p. 125), Vossnessenski met ‘Hirundo rustica, var. rufa, at Ajan,’ We also know that Chelidon tytleri is common on the western coast of Kamtschatka. We know that it does not travel southward over the Kuril Islands and Japan. It seems, then, a pretty safe conclusion that the Swallow at least crosses the Okotsk Sea from some point on the western coast of Kamtschatka, and that when arriving on the opposite coast of the Okotsk Sea it meets the Stanovoj Mountains, and follows the eastern slope of that range southwards, turning westwards at Udskij Ostrog, where the mountains also turn westward.”
Mr. Kalinowski met with the present species in the Corea, and procured six speci¬mens near Seoul. He says that it is common, but leaves during the winter.
Mr. Seebohm states that the Eastern Chimney-Swallow is common in all the Japanese islands ; and Mr. Jouy gives the following note on the species in that country :— “These birds arc familiar objects, flying through the streets and darting into the native houses through open doors. Almost every house in a Japanese town has one or more little wooden shelves, placed just inside the door on one of the ratters of the ceiling, on which the Swallows build their nests and rear their young. Nor is their confidence misplaced ; they are as sacred on their shelf as any of the household gods, an oiler of money for which is considered an insult. I believe these Swallows rarely build elsewhere than in the situations I have described.” From the Bonin Islands Mr. Seebohm records a specimen as obtained by Mr. Holst on the 3rd of May on Peel Island. Two individuals were seen for a single day on spring migration. During the ‘Challenger’ Expedition five Swallows were caught on the ship when she was about four days south of Yokohama, on the 7th of April, 1875.
Abbe David states that H. gutturalis is the common Swallow of China and Mongolia, arriving at Pekin in the beginning of April, and nesting in large numbers in the houses, where they are protected by the Chinese. Prjewalski gives the following note:—“This eastern representative of our Swallow is met with throughout Mongolia, and breeds there on the huts and even inside the tents, especially in the latter. It very patiently hatches its eggs in the nest, which is fastened to the ceiling. The Swallow, however, is always patronized by the Mongols ; the Chinese also never destroy a Swallow’s nest ; consequently they get so tame that they breed inside the Chinese houses. In S.E. Mongolia the first birds appear about the 23rd of April ; but no large migrating flocks were noticed by us. We did not find them in Kan-su ; and everywhere in the Ussuri country, near human habitations, we met with H. rustica, var. rufa, Gm. It arrives about Lake Hanka in the end of April, and leaves there in the early part of September ; some few individuals, however, stop much later, and I once observed two as late as the 2nd of October in Hun-Chun.”
In China it breeds in all the coast-towns, as noted by Consul Swinhoe. At Amoy he saw it arrive in the first week in March, and observes:—“It is a summer visitor here and pretty numerous, building mud nests, lined with straw and a few feathers, over the doors of Chinese hovels. The natives protect the Swallow, as they believe that good luck attends it.”
In his paper on the birds of Hongkong, Macao, and Canton, the same writer says :—“ A few arrived in February ; but in March they were to be found everywhere, and soon commenced building-operations. It is the only and prevailing species.” In Formosa it is a summer visitor, according to Mr. Swinhoe, but is chiefly confined in its distribution to the south-west. It is by no means so common as H. daurica, with which it never seems to keep company during the period of nidification. In its habits, its nest, and colour of eggs, &c., this bird entirely agrees with the European H. rustica ; yet in size it is always smaller, and in minor personal features different. Again, in his account of the birds of Hainan, he writes :—“ From the day of our arrival at Hainan, onwards, the Swallow that summers in Canton and up the China coast was frequently seen. Some of them would seem to pass the winter in the island. We saw them at all points of the coast visited. Strangely enough, we met with no other species.”
In the Lower Yangtze basin, writes Mr. Styan, “these Swallows begin to arrive in the middle of March, and are numerous by the end of the month ; they remain until the first week in November. A great many nest in the shops and huts of the towns and villages, the nests being placed within easy reach of the hand. The natives protect them, and consider their presence of good omen.”
Mr. De la Touche says that there are Swallows all the year round at Swatow, but the majority leave in autumn. They quit the neighbourhood of Foochow about the beginning of October, but he has once or twice noticed a stray bird in winter.
Hirundo gutturalis is doubtless a winter visitor to every part of the Indo-Chinese countries. Mr. Oates says that the species visits Burmah, the adult birds chiefly in winter, from September to April, but he has never seen any indication of its nesting there. Most of the birds observed are immature, and may be seen pretty well all the year through. Mr. Davison states that he found Swallows excessively abundant in Tenasserim throughout the province, wherever there were clearings or open spaces. Major C. T. Bingham has met with them in the Thoungyeen Valley from October to February, when it is very common. Specimens from several parts of the Indian Penin¬sula arc recorded by us above, and one of the most typical is the bird from Kathiawar.
Mr. Hume’s collection contains specimens of the true H. gutturalis from the Malayan Peninsula as well as from the Andamans. We have seen examples from Perak obtained by Mr. L. Wray, who says that Swallows were very plentiful on the summits of the hills. Captain Kelham found them common throughout the Straits Settlements, and says that his specimens are identical with those he procured at Hongkong.
In Java and Sumatra the present bird is a winter visitant, and, indeed, occurs throughout the Malay Archipelago. Dr. Vorderman includes it among his birds of Batavia. Mr. Hartert records it from the Preanger Residency, and Sumatran examples are in the British Museum.
It visits apparently the whole of the Philippine Archipelago, and was recorded by the naturalists who accompanied Professor Steere’s expedition, from Luzon, Panay, Guimaras, Mindanao, and Palawan. Mr. Alfred Everett has also obtained it in several of the above-mentioned islands, and Mr. John Whitehead at Taguso in Palawan. We have seen several specimens from Labuan and other parts of Borneo. It has been procured in Sarawak by Doria and Beceari, at Mo era Teweh by Fischer, and at Banjar-massin by Motley.
Dr. A. B. Meyer has met with this Swallow near Menado in Celebes in March, at Tello in South Celebes in January, and in the Togian Islands in August. He often noticed them resting on isolated branches of trees in the flooded rice-fields. Both Dr. Meyer and Professor W. Blasius have recorded the species from Great Sanghir Island. The ‘Challenger’ met with a few individuals at sea on October 21st between the Moluccas and the Philippines.
Count Salvadori has given a list of the different places in the Moluccas where this Swallow has been found by Wallace, Bruijn, Beccari, and Guillemard, as follows : Batchian, Halmahera or Gilolo, Tifore, Morotai, Amboina, Aru Islands, and Andai in N.W. New Guinea. Mr. H. O. Forbes has also met with it in Bourou. In the British Museum is a specimen collected by Mr. Cohen in the Pelew Islands.
During the voyage of H.M.S. ‘Herald,’ a specimen of a young male Swallow was captured by Dr. Rayner on the north coast of Australia, on the 18th of October, 1860.
Gould made this the type of his Hirundo fretensis, but, as has already been pointed out in the ‘Catalogue of Birds,’ this supposed species is identical with H. gutturalis.
No detailed account of the habits of the Eastern Chimney-Swallow has been published, but all notes agree, as might be expected, that its habits are precisely similar to those of the European bird.
The descriptions are taken from specimens in the British Museum, and the figure is drawn from a fine and typical adult bird procured by Professor Milne near Yokohama.

A Monograph Of The Hirundinidae Or Family Of Swallows.
Sharpe, Richard Bowdler, and Claude Wilmott Wyatt. A Monograph of the Hirundinidae: Or Family of Swallows. Vol. 1. 1894.
Title in Book: 
Hirundo gutturalis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Richard Bowdler
Page No: 
Common name: 
Eastern Chimney Swallow
Hirundo rustica gutturalis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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