1149. Krimnochelidon rupestris

(1149) Krimnochelidon rupestris (Scop.).
Ptyonoprogne rupestris, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 236.
Krimnochelidon rupestris, ibid. vol. viii, p. 658.
The Crag-Martin breeds in North Africa, South Europe, Western Asia East to Turkestan, Tibet and Western China. Within our limits it breeds in the Himalayas from the Afghan and Baluchistan boundaries to Western and Southern Tibet and to Kuman.
Fulton says that this bird is a common visitor to Chitral up to 13,000 feet, while Whitehead says that it is probably resident on the Samana and that “fair numbers nest in the precipices of the Safed Koh.” Marshall and Betham found it common on the hills round Quetta ; Rattray took numerous nests in the Murree Hills ; Osmaston and Ludlow record it as being numerous in Ladak up to 15,000 feet, and the latter says it is equally so at Gyantse, 12,000 to 14,000 feet, though the nests are inaccessible. In Hume’s time there was a colony breeding on the road from Mussoorie to Simla at about 6,000 to 7,000 feet.
In the Murree Hills, also, Rattray took nests at 7,000 feet, but they breed generally at far higher elevations than this.
In Ladak Osmaston says (Ibis, 1925, p. 699):—“This is a common bird wherever there are rocky precipices in the vicinity of water. They are found from about 9,500 up to 15,000 feet.
“They were observed on May 1st soon after crossing the Zoji La, On 7 May they were seen building at 10,000 feet in the Wakka Nala, and again on 3 June building in the Gya Valley at 12,000 feet. They also breed near the Tso Moriri Lake at 15,000 feet.
“Nests are placed under overhanging rocks on precipices. They are usually difficult or impossible to reach.
“On I August at Bhotkarbu (11,500 feet) a nest was found containing four fresh eggs, three of which were with difficulty secured.
“Nests are similar to those of the English Swallow.”
Nests and eggs sent to me from Gyantse were said to have been attached to rocks under ledges or other overhanging rocks, always over rivers and most difficult to reach. The eggs numbered three or four and the nests were cups made of mud pellets and thickly lined with feathers, mixed with scraps of straw, grass and other oddments. Rattray found the nests in Dunga Gali built inside crevices between rocks, but otherwise similar in construction.
The breeding season is from the end of May to the first week in August, the latter date being exceptionally late, while most eggs are laid in the second half of June and early July.
The eggs number three or four and are like rather boldly marked eggs of the Common Swallow. The ground is white, speckled and spotted, chiefly at the larger end, with pale reddish-brown, grey brown or purple-brown. In some eggs the markings are very fine and speckly, in others larger and more blotchy and, as a rule, the larger the blotches the deeper and more handsome the colour.
In shape the eggs are long ovals, the texture not very fine and quite glossless, and the shells very fragile in proportion to their size.
Twenty eggs taken in India average 21.2 x 14.3 mm. : maxima 22.9 x 14.5 and 22.8 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 20.1 x 13.9 mm.

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: 
1149. Krimnochelidon rupestris
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Crag Martin
Eurasian Crag Martin
Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Vol. 3

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