1157. Hirundo smithii fllifera

(1157)Hirundo smithii filifera Stephens.
Hirundo smithii filifera, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p, 245.
The Wire-tailed Swallow has a very wide range, being found from the Lower Himalayas South to Mysore and North Travancore. It does not occur in the very wet districts of Eastern Bengal and Assam but is resident in Burma from Arakan, where Hopwood found it breeding, to Tenasserim, and again in Eastern Burma from the Shan States to the same district.
It is resident wherever found except in Northern Sind and in some of the hottest and driest parts of Rajputana, to which it seems to be an irregular visitor only, though in Southern Sind and in Raj¬putana, where there is a constant water-supply, it breeds regularly and is to be found all the year round.
It is not gregarious, but occasionally two or three nests may be found under the same bridge or built against the same rock, and Hume says that “three to seven nests will often bo found quite near to one another” where there is plenty of water, Hume sums up the bind of site selected for building as follows:—“They breed almost exclusively in the immediate neighbourhood of water, under the cornices of bridges, under culverts beneath which some little pool remains, under overhanging shelves of rock or kunkar, projecting from the faces of stoney or earthy river-cliffs, and in cells of buildings overlooking the water.”
Occasionally they make their nests inside buildings which are not over water. Thus Jones obtained one nest in the Patiala State, at about 6,000 feet elevation, attached to a rafter in a deserted shed. Adams in Sambhur obtained a nest in an old rest-house, the mud being brought from a well 200 yards distant. He also once took a nest with four eggs from the wall of a well.
The nest is the usual half-cup of pellets of mud, but is generally deep, much deeper in proportion than the nests of the Nilgiri House- Swallow. As a rule the nests measure roughly about 4 inches wide, or rather more, by nearly 4 inches deep, sometimes, when they are cone-shaped, even 5 inches. Shallow nests are, however, sometimes constructed. Adam describes one, which was built in “one of the small cells in the wall facing the river in the Etma- doodoula Gardens” at Agra, as a broad shallow half-saucer “about 5.1/2 inches broad and about 3 inches from front to hack.” The bottom of this nest “was about 3/4 inch and the sides 1/2 inch thick. The cavity was lined with fine grass-roots and a very few feathers.”
As a rule the lining is either all feathers or is mixed with just a few grass-stems.
In the hills the Wire-tailed Swallows breed from May to the end of July and seldom have more than one brood. In the plains they breed principally in February, March and April, and again in July, August and September. In Peshawar Skinner found them breeding in April and May, whilst in Trimulgherry Sparrow took eggs in October, Probably eggs may be taken at odd times in any month of the year, and Hume says he has seen eggs in every month except December.
The few eggs I have seen from Maymyo and Tenasserim in Burma were taken in April and May.
The eggs number three or four, moat often the former, and in appearance can only be distinguished from those of the European Swallow by their size and on being, as a series, more richly marked. A good many eggs have a fairly definite zone of spots at the larger end, a rare character in the eggs of Hirundo rustica.
One hundred and twenty eggs average 18.4 x 13.1 mm. : maxima 20.0 x 13.0 and 19.1 x 13.8 mm. ; minima 16.1 x 12.9 and 17.0 x 11.6 mm.
Both sexes take part in building the nest and both share in incubation, which is said to last fourteen days.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1157. Hirundo smithii fllifera
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Wire Tailed Swallow
Hirundo smithii filifera
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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