Hirundo rustica, Lin.
82. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 157; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 451 ; Deccan and South Mahratta Country ; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 377; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 102 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 59.
THE COMMON SWALLOW.
Length, 5.25 to 8.9 ; expanse, 13 to 14 ; wing, 4.3 to 5 ; tail, 2.75 to 4.5 ; the middle tail-feathers are only two inches in length.
Bill dusky-black ; irides deep brown; legs dusky-black.
Male. :- Above glossy blue-black; the chin, throat, and a narrowband on the forehead deep ferruginous ; a slightly glossed black pectoral band; beneath, from the breast, rufescent-white; tail with all, except the mesial feathers, having a large white spot on their inner web.
The female has the outer tail feathers shorter, and the under parts whiter. The young may be known by the pale ferruginous hue of the throat, and by the dull color of the upper plumage, as also by the shorter outer tail-feathers.
The European Swallow is a common cold weather visitant, arriving early in August, and leaving towards the end of March, but stragglers are occasionally seen, both earlier and later; they do not appear to breed anywhere within our limits, but in the Bolan Pass, Quetta, Chaman, and Kandahar I found them breeding freely.