1148. Riparia paludicola brevicaudata

(1148) Riparia paludicola brevicaudata (Horsf.).
THE Indian Sand-Martin.
Riparia paludicola chincnsis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iii, p. 235.
Riparia paludicola brevicaudata, ibid. vol. viii, p, 658.
This little Sand-Martin, distinguished by its bare tarsi, is found over the whole of India as far South as the Bombay Presidency and the Deccan on the West, and as far as Cuttack in Orissa on the East, In Burma it occurs as far South as Tenasserim and East it extends through the Indo-Chinese countries to South China.
There is little one can say about the breeding of this Sand-Martin in addition to what has already been written about the others.
In Assam we had colonies of this bird breeding within a few yards of colonies of the preceding species, and one could not tell which was which until a bird was caught and examined. We found both species extremely tame and confiding. The Dibrugarh bazaar was built right on the edge of the Brahmapootra, which frequently washed away a portion of it during the rains, yet in the bank under the bazaar both species of Sand-Martin yearly bred. In many cases the chambers containing the nests were sufficiently far in to come right under the shops and houses, so that there was a constant movement of traffic a few feet over the birds’ heads. In these colonies it seemed certain that often two birds laid in the same- chamber, Clutches of six were common, in most cases all laid by the same bird, but I also found sevens and eights which cer¬tainly looked as if laid by two birds, some being small and broad, others bigger and longer. The tunnels made by these particular colonies ran from 18 inches to 4 feet, but averaged about 3 feet, the soil being very compact sand. Elsewhere I have found colonies where nesting tunnels averaged less than a foot, and the length seems to depend entirely on the soil in which they are excavated.
The nest is typical of the genus and needs no separate description, but in the colonies under the Dibrugarh bazaar I found much cotton, bits of string, scraps of cloth and paper and some loose jute used as material, all being stuff the birds picked up off the surface of the river.
Everywhere the breeding season is the same, October to February, when the river-banks are safe from flooding. Rarely, as in Assam, a second brood may be raised in April and May.
The normal clutch varies from two to four in the greater part of India ; in Assam it is five or six, and in Burma three or four.
One hundred eggs average 17.0 x 12.0 mm. : maxima 18.3 x 11.9 and 17.6 x 12.7 mm. (Hume) ; minima 14.5 x 11.2 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1148. Riparia paludicola brevicaudata
Spp Author: 
Horsf.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1148
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
106
Common name: 
Indian Sand Maetin
M_ID: 
22405
M_CN: 
Grey-throated Martin
M_SN: 
Riparia chinensis
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14231

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