Hirundo javanica

Hirundo javanica, Sparrm. Mus. Carls, ii. pl. 100 (1789) ; Vieill. N. Dict. d’Hist. Nat. xiv. p. 523 (1817) ; Temm. Pl. Col. iv. pl. 83, fig. 2 (1823) ; Gray, Gen. B. i. p. 57 (1845) ; Temm. & Schl. Faun. Jap., Aves, p. 32 (1850) ; Cab. Mus. Hein. Th. i. p. 46 (1850) ; Wall. Ibis, 1860, p. 147 ; id. P. Z. S. 1863, p. 485 ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 70, no. 813 (1869) ; Finsch & Hartl. Vog. Ostafr. p. 137, note (1870) ; Walden, Tr. Z. S. viii. p. 66 (1872) ; Swinh. Ibis, 1873, p. 231 ; Salvad. Ucc. Born. p. 126 (1874) ; id. Ann. Mus. Civic. Genov, vii. p. 767 (1875), ix. p. 23 (1876), x. p. 130 (1877) ; Sharpe, Ibis, 1870, p. 43 ; Bourd. Str. F. 1870, p. 374 ; Fairb. Str. F. 1877, p. 392 ; Sharpe, Journ. Linn. Soc., Zool. xiii. p. 498 (1877) ; Tweedd. Ibis, 1877, p. 316 ; id. P. Z. S. 1877, p. 760, & 1878, pp. 109, 342, 615, 709 ; Salvad. P.Z.S. 1878, p. 95 ; Hume & Davison, Str. F. 1878, p. 43 ; Ramsay, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. iii. p. 275 (1879), iv. p. 98 (1879) ; Finsch, P.Z.S. 1879, p. 10 ; Meyer, Ibis, 1879, p. 128 ; Salvad. Ann. Mus. Civic. Genov, xiv. pp. 492, 647 (1879) ; Hume, Str. F. 1879, pp. 47, 84 ; Sharpe, P.Z.S. 1879, p. 344 ; Legge, B. Ceylon, p. 597 (1879) ; Hume, Str. F. 1880, p. 120 ; Salvad. Report Voy. ‘Challenger,’ ii. Birds, p. 78 (1881) ; id. Orn. Papuasia etc. ii. p. 3 (1881) ; Sharpe, Journ. Linn. Soc., Zool. xvi. p. 430 (1882) ; Muller, J. f. O. 1882, p. 361 ; Davison, Str. F. x. p. 345 (1883) ; Vorderm. Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. xlii. p. 209 (1883) ; Meyer, Sitz. Abhandl. Gesellsch. ‘Isis,’ Dresden, 1884, Abth. i. p. 22 ; Sharpe, Ibis, 1884, p. 321 ; Forbes, P. Z. S. 1884, pp. 126, 433 ; Pleske, Bull. Aead. St. Petersb, xxix. p. 528 (1884) ; Sharpe, Cat. Birds in Brit. Mus. x. p. 142 (1885) ; Nehrk. J. f. O. 1885, p. 32 ; Guillem. P. Z. S. 1885, pp. 261 419, 553 ; Vorderm. Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. xlv. p. 326 (1886) ; Salvad. Ann. Mus. Genov. (2) iv. pp. 520, 538 (1887) ; Seeb. Ibis, 1887, p. 176 ; Vorderm. Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. xlvi. p. 228 (1887) ; Ramsay, Tab. List Austr. B. p. 2 (1888) ; W. Blasius, Ornis, iv. p. 580 (1888) ; Everett, Journ. Straits Branch As. Soc. 1889, p. 134 ; Sharpe, Ibis, 1889, p. 430 ; Vorderm. Nat. Tijdschr. xli. p. 396 (1890) ; Salvad. Agg. Orn. Papuasia, pt. ii. p. 69 (1890) ; Whitehead, Ibis, 1890, p. 49 ; Seeb. B. Japan Emp. p. 142 (1890) ; Oates, ed. Hume's Nests & Eggs Ind. B. ii. p. 186 (1890) ; id. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, ii. p. 279 (1890) ; Vorderm. Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. 1. pp. 414, 451 (1891) ; Salvad. Ann. Mus. Genov. (2) xii. p. 49 (1891) ; Steere, List B. & Mamm. Philipp, p. 10 (1891).
Javan Swallow, Lath. Gen. Syn. Suppl, ii. p. 259 (1801).
Hirundo frontalis, Quoy et Gaim. Voy. de l'Astrol., Zool. i. p. 204. pl. 12. fig. 1 (1830) : Gray, Gen. B. i. p. 57 (1845) ; Sel. Proc. Linn. Soc., Zool. ii. p. 155 (1858) ; Gray.
P. Z. S. 1858, p. 189, 1859, p. 154 ; id. Cat. Mamm. etc. N. Guin. pp. 18, 54 (1859) ; id. P. Z. S. 1861, p. 433 ; Finsch, Neu-Guinea, p. 162 (1865, pt.) ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 70, no. 812 (1869, pt.) ; Ramsay, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. ii. p. 179 (1878).
Herse frontalis, Less. Compl. Buff. viii. p. 497 (1837).
Herse javanica, Less. t. c. p. 497 (1837).
Cecropis javanica, Boie, Isis, 1844, p. 174.
Cecropis frontalis, Boie, Isis, 1844, p. 174.
Hirundo domicola, Jerd. Madr. Journ, xiii. p. 173 (1844) ; Blyth, Cat. B. Mus. As. Soc. p. 198 (1849) ; Kelaart, Prodr. Cat. p. 118 (1852) ; Layard, Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. xii. p. 170 (1853) ; Moore, P. Z. S. 1854, p. 264 ; Horsf. & Moore, Cat. B. Mus. E.I. Co. i. p. 381 (1854) ; Jerd. B. Ind. i. p. 158 (1862) ; Scl. P.Z.S. 1863, p. 217 ; Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 336 ; Bulger, B. Z. S. 1866, p. 568 ; Gray, Hand-l. B. i. p. 70, no. 814 (1869) ; Holdsw. B. Z. S. 1872, p. 418 ; Elwes, Ibis, 1870, p. 527 ; Jerd. Ibis, 1871, p. 351 ; Morgan, Ibis, 1875, p. 313.
Hirundo pacifica (nec Lath.), Motl. & Dillw. N. H. Labuan, p. 10 (1855).
Hirundo neoxena (nec Gould), Gray, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 189, 1861, p. 433 ; Rosenb.
Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. xxv. p. 234 (1863).
Hypurolepis domicola, Gould, B. Asia, i. pl. 32 (1868) ; Hume, Nests & Eggs Ind. B. p. 73 (1873) ; id. Str. F. 1874, p. 155.
Hypurolepis javanica, Oates, B. Br. Burm. i. p. 308 (1883).
Hirundo fretensis, Ramsay, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. ii. p. 179 (1878, nec Gould).
H. minor : pileo et uropygio dorso concoloribus : fronte rufa : cauda conspicue albo maculata : subcau-dalibus fumoso-brunneis, albo marginatis.
Hab. in Peninsula Indica meridionali, in insula Zeylonica, in regionibus Indo-Burmanicis et per totam regionem Indo-Malayanam et in insulis Moluccanis et Papuanis.
Adult male. General colour above dull steel-blue ; lesser wing-coverts like the back ; the median and greater coverts edged with dull steel-blue ; inner greater coverts ashy towards the end of the inner web ; primary-coverts and quills black ; upper tail-coverts like the back ; tail-feathers black, slightly glossed with steel-blue, all but the two ecutre feathers with an ovate spot of white on the inner web ; crown of the head dull steel-blue like the back ; a broad frontal band of brick-red ; lores blackish, as also the feathers round the eye ; ear-coverts brick-red like the sides of the face, but blue along their upper margin ; checks, throat, and fore neck brick-red ; sides of the neck dull steel-blue : breast dull ashy brown, the sides of the upper breast with a dull blue patch like the sides of the neck ; abdomen ashy whitish ; sides of the body and flanks dull smoky brown ; thighs smoky brown, tipped with ashy ; under tail-coverts smoky brown, margined conspicuously with ashy white, before which is a bluish-black shade, broader on the longer coverts and producing there a strongly marked appearance ; the longest ones entirely blackish with ashy white tips ; under wing-coverts and axillaries smoky brown, with a slight shade of rufous ; quills below dusky brown, inner edges rather more smoky brown : “bill blackish, the base of the lower mandible reddish ; feet brown, the edges of the tarsal scales whitish ; claws black” (W. V. Legge). Total length 4.5 inches, culmen 0.35, wing 4.15, tail 1.8, tarsus 0.35.
Adult female. Similar to the male in colour. Total length 4.5 inches, culmen 6.3, wing 4.1, tail 1.75, tarsus 0.35.
We have described a pair of birds from the Nilghiris, though from this part of India the specimens are decidedly darker in colour than many birds from other localities.
This Swallow varies considerably in the colour of the under surface ; but we have not been able to trace a definite character by which actual races or subspecific forms can be recognized. The connection between H. javanica and H. tahitica is much closer than has been generally supposed. If a specimen of typical H. javanica from Java be compared with one of H. tahitica from Tonga, the two species seem to all appearances to be quite distinct. In H. tahitica the rufous forehead and throat appear much darker, and the under surface of the body is also darker and almost entirely uniform, with the exception of some blue-tipped feathers in the centre of the chest, which form a streak. The tail also is entirely uniform, without any white spots on the inner web. Thus, were these characters constant, there would be no difficulty in distinguishing the two species ; but, as a matter of fact, the white spots on the tail vary to such an extent, that it is even doubtful whether absolute specific characters can be drawn between these two supposed species. Under the heading of H. tahitica we have alluded to the variation in the spotting of the tail-feathers, and we need not further allude to the subject here ; but in H. javanica the shade of ashy brown on the under¬parts is also a variable character. Specimens from the Malayan Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, and Lombock are very similar to one another, and are nearly as uniform below as H. tahitica, this being especially the case with the Lombock birds ; but in none of them is there any trace of the mesial black plumes on the centre of the chest. The under tail-coverts are somewhat rufescent on the margins. In specimens from Southern India the under surface is dark, and the under tail-coverts are margined with whitish, as a rule. The birds from the Philippines and Palawan are much whiter on the abdomen, and specimens from North-eastern Borneo and Labuan resemble them in the white abdomen and white-edged under tail-coverts ; but other examples from Sarawak and Banjarmassing are of the same dark-breasted form as that which inhabits Java and the Sunda Islands generally. The only specimens from South-eastern New Guinea in the British Museum are exceptionally pale in colour and have the abdomen conspicuously white, while the under tail-coverts also appear to be paler and to have only subterminal black markings, without any long black central coverts, as is often the ease with specimens from other localities. They approach, in fact, H. neoxena, but of course have not the elongated tail-feathers of that species.
The present species belongs to the section of the genus Hirundo which contains our Common Swallow and its allies ; but it is one of the short-tailed section of the genus, which, though strongly represented in the Indian Region, has several near allies in Africa. The range of H. javanica is interesting, as it is one of those species of birds which occur in Southern India and Ceylon, but avoid the Indian Peninsula in general, and then reappear in the islands of the Bay of Bengal and extend throughout the Malayan Legion. In the case of the present species the range is continued throughout the Molueeas and Papuan Islands as well.
“The present species,” writes Colonel Legge, “is a resident inhabitant of the mountains of Ceylon, and ii, as in the south of India, restricted to high elevations. Though common as low down as the valley of Dumbara, it appears resolutely to decline any descent into the hot regions round the base of the mountains, for I have never seen it, or heard of its being observed, in the low country. It is found in the open districts formed by the great valleys in the Central Province, about estates, and on the plains of the upper regions, being very common at Nuwara Elliya and in the neighbourhood. I observed it at Horton Plains, and in the southern ranges met with it in the Morowak and Kukkul Korales ; and throughout the high tract formed by these and the adjoining Korales it is found down to the same altitude as in the Kandy country.”
On the Indian Peninsula it is known from Travancore, the Nilghiris, and the Palani Hills. Mr. H. J. Elwes procured the species on the Cardamum Hills ; and Mr. F. Bourdillon states that it is a resident in Travancore, “travelling but little, two or three persistently frequenting each sheltered ravine in an open clearing.” The Rev. S. B. Fairbank, in his paper on the birds of the Palani Hills, states that it was obtained on the summit of the range, and also at Semiganur at an elevation of 5500 feet. In the Nilghiri Hills it is a resident species and very common, according to Mr. Davison, commencing to breed about the last week in February. The late Dr. Jerdon believed that it was this Swallow which he found breeding at Bangalore ; but it has not been recorded from that place by Major Wardlaw Ramsay or by any other ornithologist who has collected of late years in that vieinity.
Mr. Hume writes :—“ This species appears to be common in the Andamans, at any rate from the beginning of June to the end of September, as a number of specimens have been sent to me, procured on different dates during these months. We none of us saw this species anywhere about the islands between the beginning of December and the end of April. It is therefore apparently only a monsoon visitant.” Colonel Legge also observes that, judging from the dates recorded of the appearance of the species in the islands of the Bay of Bengal and Tenasserim, it would seem that the species “ migrated with the south-west monsoon from South India or Ceylon across to the last-mentioned localities, not straying above 13° or 14° N. lat.”
In Burma proper the present species has not yet been observed, though Mr. Oates considers that it is not unlikely to occur within the limits of the province. Mr. Hume believes that it will be found only in the more southern provinces of Tenasserim, as Mr. Davison only met with the species in Mergui in June. There they were by no means numerous, and Mr. Davison concluded that they were migrating ; but as Mr. Theobald found the species nesting in Tenasserim, Mr. Oates concludes that it is really a resident in that province. The Tropical Swallow is apparently, as Mr. Oates justly observes, a resident bird in all the countries which it inhabits ; but Mr. Hume’s evidence as to its migrations in the Andamans must not be overlooked. Further to the south Mr. Darling procured the present species at Kossoum, and at the mouth of the Poongah River, in the north of the Malayan Peninsula, in August. Dr. Muller has recorded it from Salanga Island ; and long ago Dr. Cantor met with it in Penang. Here, says Mr. Swinhoe in 1873, it was the prevailing Swallow, and he found it nesting. Mr. Davison has also obtained it in Johore in March.
Dr. A. R. Wallace procured specimens of this Swallow in West. Java, and Dr. Vorderman has recorded it from the Salak Mountains. At Batavia, according to the last-named naturalist, it breeds. He also records it as nesting in the Island of Billiton.
Dr. Wallace met with the species in Sumatra during his travels in the Malay Archipelago, and more recently Mr. Buxton found it in South Lampong ; while Signor Modigliani has procured specimens at Siboga in April and September, and at Balige in October. He also found it in the Island of Nias. In the Philippines Mr. A. H. Everett was the first to meet with the species, viz. in the Island of Cebu, in April. He after¬wards procured it in South Leyte in September and October, and in Dinagat in September and North Bohol in October. Dr. Platen also met With it in Mindanao. By the Steere Expedition it was recorded from Negros, Samar, Mindoro, and Basilan. Mean¬while Mr. Lempriere had also collected a specimen at Marasi Bay in Southern Palawan : it was subsequently noted at Puerto Princesa by Mr. Everett and Professor Steere, and Mr. John Whitehead remarks that it was “fairly common” near Taguso. Dr. Guillemard met with the species in the Island of Cagayan Sulu, “flying about the vicinity of the crater-lakes in the month of April.” He also found it in the Sula Islands. In Labuan it breeds, and, according to Mr. John Whitehead, it is common throughout Northern Borneo. Dr. Wallace met with it in Sarawak, and Mr. A. H. Everett procured some specimens at Sibu in October. It was also found at Moera Teweh by Dr. Fischer and by Mr. Motley at Banjarmassing.
Dr. Wallace states that this Swallow is common in Celebes, and he also met with it in the Sula Islands. Dr. Meyer has received it from Tabukan in the Sangi group. It is widely spread throughout the Molueeas, having been found in Lombock and Timor by Dr. Wallace and by Mr. Riedel in Timor Laut. Count Salvadori gives the following list of its localities in bis ‘Ornitologia della Papuasia’:—Batchian, Morotai. Ternate (Bernstein), Bouru (Wallace ; Hoedl), Amboyna (Hoedl), Matabello (Rosenberg). Ke Islands (Rosenberg), Aru Islands, Salawati (Rosenberg), Durey (S. Muller ; Wallace). Sorong (D' Albertis), Jobi (Bruijn). It has also been met with on the Island of Waigion by Dr. Platen, and it was procured at Dobbo in the Aru Islands during the ‘Challenger’ Expedition. In South-eastern New Guinea Signor D' Albertis met with the species on Yule Island, Mr. Stone in the neighbourhood of Fort Moresby, and Mr. Goldie on the Astrolabe Range. It was likewise procured by the late John Macgillivray on the Redsear Islands off the south-east coast of New Guinea ; and the Salvin-Godman collection contains three specimens said to have been obtained by Mr. J. T. Cockerell in the islands in Torres Straits. These islands are indeed a very probable habitat for the species ; but the locality requires some confirmation, as Mr. Cockerell notoriously mixed up his collections from the Aru Islands and Northern Australia.
The most eastern habitat of the species seems to be New Ireland and the Duke-of- York Island, where it was met with by Dr. Hubner and Mr. L. C. Layard, the latter of whom found it breeding.
The following account of the habits and nidification of the species in Ceylon is given by Colonel Legge :—
“To the resident in the beautiful mountains of Ceylon this little bird has much the same interest as that which the Common Swallow possesses for the occupants of the many English homes to which it is so welcome a visitor ; with this difference, however, that it is a constant attendant about the Ceylon bungalow throughout the year, flitting in and out of the rose-covered and trellised verandah, gliding over the spacious barbecues bestrewn with the rich produce of the estate, or settling on the roofs of the pulping houses, from the tops of which it utters its merry little twitter while it prunes its glossy plumage in the rays of the morning sun. No wonder, then, that it is a general favourite with the planter, reminding him of scenes far away, and bringing back to him recol¬lections of those from whom he is so widely removed. In the mind of the author this interesting bird is connected With pleasing memories, not easily forgotten, of much kindness received, and, moreover, of the glorious mountain prospects viewed from the verandah of many a hospitable bungalow, round which he has often seen it flying while resting after the exertions of a long toil up the zigzag paths of the estate. It is found about the villages of the Kandyans, and hawks for its food over patnas and cleared hill-sides, as well as round the stores and buildings of the estates. On some bare spot or on a pathway in the open it may sometimes be seen resting, and I have occasionally seen it perched on a dead branch or stake ; but its favourite post is the cave of some building. Its flight is very buoyant, but not at all swift, and its twitter is not unlike that of the Common Swallow.
“The breeding-time of the Hill-Swallow is in April, May, and June ; it nests in the verandahs of bungalows and outbuildings of estates and under the eaves of native houses, building sometimes beneath the ceilings of rooms without evincing any fear of the inmates. Such a nest I once observed in the sitting-room of the old Banderawella Resthome. It is usually placed against the side of a beam or projecting baulk of timber, and resembles in its construction that of H. erythropygia, though somewhat smaller. It is composed of mud and lined with feathers, thread, small pieces of rag, and such materials as it may pick up about its adopted residence. The eggs are usually three in number, stumpy ovals in shape, and of a white ground-colour, spotted pretty evenly with brownish red.
“ I once found a Swallow’s nest in a small cavern or recess in the face of a cliff in Haputale, and it no doubt belonged to this species. In some eggs there is a tendency in the markings to form a zone at the large end. They measure about 0.77 by 0.5 inch.”
The following notes on the nidification of H. javanica will be found in Mr. Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds’ (2nd edition, edited by Mr. E. W. Oates):—
“The Nilghiri House-Swallow,” says Mr. Davison, “breeds on the western side of these hills from February to April, rearing (from what I have observed) two broods in immediate succession. The nest is composed of pellets of mud, thickly lined with feathers, open at the top, with the saucer-like depression rather deep ; it is usually placed in some building, cave, or against some well-sheltered rock. The eggs, usually three in number, are white, spotted with brown and reddish brown, with a few larger markings of a purplish colour. Occasionally four eggs are laid ; but when this is the case I have found that invariably only three hatch.
“About a week after the first brood have flown the old birds begin to remove the topmost feathers of the nest, replacing them by fresh ones. Three eggs are then again laid, and a second brood reared. After this brood have flown, the old birds still continue to occupy the nest at night, or, more correctly, to occupy the edge of the nest, for they do not get into it, but merely sit close together on its edge. The same nest is occupied the following year, the upper feathers being only removed and replaced by fresh ones. Should the nest have been destroyed, a fresh one is built on the same site. The birds do not begin to sit till the full complement of eggs are laid, and both birds take part in the task of incubation.”
Mr. Wait, writing from Coonoor, to the eastward of Ootacamund, observes that they “breed from April to June, building under eaves, bridges, open sheds, &c., and generally against the sides of the rafters. The nest, composed of mud-pellets worked together and lined with soft feathers, is somewhat irregular in its external shape, and has a rather shallow cup-like egg-cavity some inches in diameter ; they lay from two to five eggs, very round ovals, white, spotted with reddish brown.”
Miss Cockburn, writing from Kotagherry, remarks:—
"They are fond of returning to the same places in which they build every year, and appear to prefer erecting their little nests in verandahs and eaves of outhouses. Many years ago I remember watching for some days a battle between a cock Sparrow and a pair of House-Swallows. The latter had finished their neat nest in our verandah, when the Sparrow discovered it, and never left it except for the purpose of satisfying his appetite. The poor Swallows saw they could do nothing, so they disappeared, and told t heir friends the sad tale in Swallow language ; and as in the multitude of councillors there is wisdom,’ some time after, to our surprise, we saw a great number of House-Swallows, each with a wee lump of clay in its bill. They flew up to the nest, and succeeded in building up the sides, the Sparrow inside doing his utmost to stop their work ; but they, being accomplished artisans in their own masonry, did not taken second to fix each piece of clay. It became a most exciting scene, and we fully expeeled the Sparrow would have been imprisoned for life ; but no, he was much too crafty to allow that. With one effort he burst through the very small hole which was unclosed, and escaped, being attacked by all the Swallows at the same instant. This couffiet ended by the rightful owners having possession of their nest. They build here in the month of April, and lay two white eggs with dark specks and spots.”
Mr. W. Theobald makes the following remarks on the breeding of this bird in Tenasserim :—“ Lavs in the second week of April. Eggs three in number, long, ovato-pyriform ; size 0.77 inch by 0.52 inch ; colour white, spotted and ringed with umber. Nest a saucer of mud ; inner part coarse roots, profusely lined with leathers and vegetable down, attached to the under part of snags projecting some four feet above the water.”
The eggs of this species closely resemble those of H. rustica, but are decidedly smaller, and are, we think, somewhat less glossy. They are moderately broad ovals, slightly compressed towards one end, have a pinky-white ground, and are very finely speckled and spotted, thinly at the small end, more densely at the large end, where there is a tendency to form a zone, with different shades of dull purple and brownish red. In some all the markings are comparatively large and coarse, in others excessively minute, and the intensity of the colour of the markings varies much in different specimens.
In length the eggs vary from 0.64 to 0.77 inch, and in breadth from 0.48 to 0.57 inch ; but the average size is about 0.7 by 0.5 inch.
Mr. Rhodes Morgan also observes :—
“Breeds in the Neilgherries in the roofs of houses and verandahs, also on large rocks and cliffs. In shape the nest resembles a pocket or the half of a teacup. It is formed of small clay pellets agglutinated together with the saliva of the bird, and is very firmly cemented to the face of the rock. The lining consists of feathers. The eggs are generally two in number, minutely speckled with claret-coloured spots on a whitish ground, the spots being gathered together in a zone at the larger end. Average length .77 inch, breadth .5.”
In Northern Borneo Mr. John Whitehead says it is often found “nesting under the verandahs of houses, but I once saw a nest in an old tree-stump, which was standing up in the middle of a river. The nest is made of mud and grass, and contains two eggs in May and other months. The eggs are white, spotted and marked like those of H. rustica.”
The following note was sent by the late Governor Ussher from Labuan:—“ Is seen everywhere ; affects the sea-shore, and even the open sea at times ; builds about houses, but also in old trees ; frequently perches on old stumps on the sea-beach ; and is fond of swampy localities towards evening, when it flies very low.” According to Mr. Treacher, the native name is “Layang layang kuekie.” Sir Hugh Low sent a quantity of eggs taken in May 1873 in Labuan. He says that it also breeds in fissures of rocks. The eggs are white, covered with small reddish-brown and purple spots, chiefly near the thicker end ; one of the eggs is very thickly clouded near the thicker end with reddish and purple ; axis 0.7-0.75, diam. 0.5-0.55. Some of the eggs are much less thickly spotted than others, the spots being quite tiny in many of them ; in most the reddish shade predominates ; but in a few the dots are nearly all pale purple, with some tiny specks of red.
The descriptions are from specimens in the British Museum, and the figure is taken from an individual procured by Mr. Wyatt in Johore, in the Malay Peninsula.

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 javanica
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Richard Bowdler
Page No: 
Common name: 
Tropical Swallow
Hirundo tahitica javanica
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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