(1158) Hirundo fluvicola.
The Indian Glut-Swallow.
Hirundo fluvicola Jerdon, Blyth, J. A. S. B., xxiv, p. 470 (1855) (Bundelkhund); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 280.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Lores black; forehead, crown and nape dull chestnut with dark shaft-lines; back and scapulars glossy steel-blue; rump and upper tail-coverts dull brown, the feathers edged paler; tail blackish-brown; wings dark brown, the lesser coverts with glossy edges; a patch under the eye and behind it dark brown; sides of head, chin, throat and breast profusely streaked with blackish and sometimes tinged with fulvous; remainder of lower plumage white tinged with fulvous, darker and more brown on the flanks, which are faintly streaked.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill black; legs and feet blackish-brown to black.
Measurements. Total length about 120 mm.; wing 89 to 94 mm.; tail 40 to 44 mm.; tarsus about 9 to 10 mm,; culmen about 6 mm.
Young birds have the crown dull brown; the feathers of the mantle edged with rufous and those of the rump, upper tail-coverts and wing with fulvous.
Distribution. The greater part of India from Kashmir and the Himalayas as far South as Coimbatore and East to Sikkim and Etawah. It is not found in Sind.
Nidification. The Indian Cliff-Swallow breeds twice a year, first from January to March and secondly from July to October but eggs have been taken in every month of the year. They build in colonies of any number from twenty to six hundred pairs and place their nests, touching one another, against any overhanging cliff, bridge, wall or even ruined temples and houses. The nests are made of mud but differ from those of most of the Swallows already dealt with in being retort-shaped, the tubular entrances sticking out for some two to six inches from the nest itself. The lining is of grass and feathers and, it is said, sometimes mixed with leaves. The eggs number two to four, generally three, and vary in colour from pure white to white spotted with yellowish- or pale reddish-brown. Eggs at all boldly marked are exceptional. One hundred eggs average 18.5 x 31.1 mm.: maxima 20.8 X12.6 and 19.2 x 14.0 mm.; minima 16.0 X 13.0 and 18.0 x 12.0 mm.
Habits. The Indian Cliff-Swallow is resident in the Plains and perhaps in the foot-hills but the birds which visit Kashmir and which are found up to some 6,000 feet in Summer seem to leave the hills in Winter from October to April. They keep almost exclusively to the neighbourhood of water when breeding, but at other times may be found at considerable distances from it. They associate in large numbers at all times and their flight is rather feeble for a bird of this family.