(1150) Ptyonoprogne concolor.
The Dusky Crag-Martin.
Hirundo concolor Sykes, P.Z. S. 1833, p. 83 (Deccan). Ptyonoprogne concolor, Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 275.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Whole upper plumage, wings and tail dark sooty-brown ; all but the central, or two central, and outermost pairs with a white spot on the inner webs ; chin, throat and fore-neck dull rufous streaked with blackish-brown; remainder of lower plumage dull sooty-brown, with faint indications of rufous margins and dark shafts to the feathers.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill dark brown to black ; legs and feet brown.
Measurements. Total length about 125 mm.; wing 102 to 110 mm,; tail 44 to 47 mm.; tarsus about 10 to 11 mm.: culmen about 6 to 7 mm.
Young birds have the feathers of the upper parts margined with rufous.
Distribution. From the Nilgiri Hills in the South to the Himalayas but not to Sind. East it extends to Bihar and the drier districts of Western Bengal.
Nidification. Unlike so many of our Indian Swallows the Dusky Crag-Martin does not breed in communities, though in suitable places many nests maybe built quite close to one another. The nest is the typical Swallow's half-cup, open above, made of pellets of mud and thickly lined with soft feathers. The site chosen is any convenient wall or cliff and they build inside verandahs of houses, in the walls of wells, in old forts or mosques, or against the rocks of cliffs or river-banks. The eggs number three or four and are like those of P. rupestris, but much smaller, broader and less pointed. One hundred eggs average 17.6 x 12.8 mm.: maxima 19.2 x 14.0 mm.; minima 16.1 x 13.9 and 16.5 x 12.0 mm.
In the Plains they seem to breed twice a year, first in February and May and again after the rains have commenced from July to October. Odd nests may, however, be found in almost any month of the year. In the hills they breed mostly in April, May and early June.
Habits. This little Swallow is not gregarious, though sometimes a few may be seen hunting for insects together. Though capable of considerable speed their flight is generally quiet and leisurely, a soft little " chit-chit" being uttered as they wheel about. They are non-migratory birds but desert some areas during the hottest and driest months of May and June.