Genus HIRUNDO

The genus Hirundo comprises the true Swallows, which are for the most part familiar and well-known birds.

The Swallows have the upper plumage, or the greater portion of it, deep steel-blue and highly glossy. Many of them have the tail greatly forked, and a few have it nearly square. They all construct nests of mud lined with feathers, some making their nests cup-shaped, while others add a long tubular entrance. The eggs in some species are speckled, in others white without any marks.

Key to the Species.

a. Rump blue or brown.
a1. White spots on tail.
a2. A complete or broken band across the breast.
a3. Pectoral band complete……………………H. rustica, p. 277.
b3. Pectoral band more or less interrupted in the middle.
a4. Chin and throat chestnut; abdomen white……………………H. gutturalis, p. 277.
b4. Chin, throat, and abdomen uniform deep chestnut……………………H. tytleri, p. 278.
c4. Chin and throat much deeper chestnut than the abdomen……………………H. erythrogastra, p. 279.
b2. No trace of a pectoral band.
c3. Chin, throat, and fore neck chest-nut; abdomen grey……………………H. javanica, p. 279.
d3. Chin, throat, and fore neck white like abdomen……………………H. smithii, p. 280.
b1. No white spots on tail……………………H. fluvicola, p. 280.
b. Rump chestnut.
c1. Lower plumage pale rufous, much paler than ear-coverts,
c2. Rump and upper tail-coverts of same colour throughout, or very slightly paler posteriorly.
e3. Wing 4.9 to 5.3.
d4. Shaft - streaks on rump very distinct; lower plumage nearly white, with very coarse striations……………………H. striolata, p. 281.
e4. Shaft-streaks on rump absent or obsolete; lower plumage de¬cidedly rufous, with fine striations……………………H, daurica, p. 282.
f3. Wing 4.3 to 4.7.
f4. Striations on lower plumage much broader than the shafts……………………H. nepalensis, p. 282.
g4. Striations on lower plumage hardly broader than the shafts……………………H, erythropygia, p. 283.
d2. Rump paling posteriorly and becoming creamy white……………………H. rufula, p. 284.
d1. Lower plumage chestnut, quite as dark as the ear-coverts……………………H. hyperythra, p. 284.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Genus HIRUNDO
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1890
Page No: 
276
M_ID: 
22499
M_SN: 
Hirundo
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
1118

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