Red-rumped swallow

The red-rumped swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in open hilly country of temperate southern Europe and Asia from Portugal and Spain to Japan, India, Sri Lanka and tropical Africa. The Indian and African birds are resident, but European and other Asian birds are migratory. They winter in Africa or India and are vagrants to Christmas Island and northern Australia.

Red-rumped swallows are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to the other aerial insectivores, such as the related swallows and the unrelated swifts (order Apodiformes). They have blue upperparts and dusky underparts.

They resemble barn swallows, but are darker below and have pale or reddish rumps, face and neck collar. They lack a breast band, but have black undertails. They are fast fliers and they swoop on insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed wings.

Red-rumped swallows build quarter-sphere nests with a tunnel entrance lined with mud collected in their beaks, and lay 3 to 6 eggs. They normally nest under cliff overhangs in their mountain homes, but will readily adapt to buildings such as mosques and bridges.

They do not normally form large breeding colonies, but are gregarious outside the breeding season. Many hundreds can be seen at a time on the plains of India.

Red-rumped swallow
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) Photograph by Shantanu Kuveskar
H. daurica
Mangaon, Maharashtra, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Cecropis
C. daurica
Binomial name
Cecropis daurica
(Laxmann, 1769)
CecropisDauricaIUCNver2018 2
Range of C. daurica     Breeding      Resident      Non-breeding      Vagrant (seasonality uncertain)
  • Hirundo daurica


The red-rumped swallow was formally described by Finnish-Swedish clergyman, explorer and natural scientist Erik Laxmann in 1769 as Hirundo daurica,[2] using a specimen from Mount Schlangen near Zmeinogorsk Russia.[3][4] It is now usually placed in the genus Cecropis created by German scientist Friedrich Boie in 1826,[5] although it is arguable how distinct this genus is from Hirundo,[6] and some authorities retain it in that genus.[7] Boie's genus name Cecropis is from the Ancient Greek for an Athenian woman.[8] The specific daurica is derived from Dauria, a mountainous region to the east of Lake Baikal in Russia. the alternative genus Hirundo is the Latin word for "swallow".[9] Some authorities consider the West African swallow to be a subspecies of the red-rumped swallow.[10]

This species is believed to form a superspecies complex with Hirundo striolata. The widely distributed population shows a lot of variation and several have been named as subspecies. Many of these are migratory and overlap in their wintering ranges and field identification of these forms is not reliable. The Sri Lankan breeding population hyperythra is a resident, and are now usually considered a distinct species, the Sri Lanka swallow. The underparts are deep chestnut and the nuchal collar is not well marked.

The populations in mainland India, erythropygia has the rump patch uniform dark chestnut without any dark shaft-streaks. The tail fork is shallow and the white patch on the inner web of the outer-tail feathers is indistinct. Populations of japonica breed in eastern Asia and winter in Thailand, Burma, India and northern Australia. They are heavily streaked on the underside and have faint streaks on the rump. The populations along the Himalayas nipalensis migrate to peninsular India in winter and breed from Kulu in the west to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh in the east. This population has the rump paler with dark shaft streaks. Subspecies rufula of Southern Europe, the Iberian Peninsula east to Baluchistan and Kashmir is resident and winters further south. The chestnut of rump fades to white towards the tail base. The nominate population breeds in Mongolia and Trans-Baikailia wintering in South and Southeast Asia.[11] Subspecies gephyra of inner Mongolia is considered indistinguishable from the nominate subspecies. The African populations include kumboensis from the highlands of Sierra Leone and Cameroon; melanocrissus of the Ethiopian highlands and emini of Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia. Many of the variations are separable only on tail and wing lengths and these vary with overlap across populations.[12]

Distribution and habitat

The red-rumped swallow breeds across southern Europe and Asia east to southern Siberia and Japan, These populations, along with Moroccan birds, are migratory, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa or south Asia. There are resident races in Africa in a broad belt from West Africa east to Ethiopia and then south to Tanzania, and most Indian and Sri Lanka breeders are also year-round residents. The African and Asian subspecies may undertake local seasonal movements. This species is a regular vagrant outside its breeding range.[13]

Behaviour and ecology

These swallows are usually found over grassland where they hawk insects. They may sometimes take advantage of grass fires and grazing cattle that flush insects into the air.[11][14]


Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) collecting mud for nest W IMG 7964
Collecting mud for nest in India
Cecropis daurica MHNT
Eggs of Cecropis daurica - MHNT

It is thought that the sequence "open-nest" to "closed nest" to "retort nest" represents the evolutionary development in the mud-building swallows, and individual species follow this order of construction. A retort builder like red-rumped swallow starts with an open cup, closes it, and then builds the entrance tunnel. It has been proposed that the development of closed nests reduced competition between males for copulations with the females. Since mating occurs inside the nest, the difficulty of access means other males are excluded. This reduction in competition permits the dense breeding colonies typical of the Delichon and Petrochelidon genera, but colonial breeding is not inevitable; most Cecropis species are solitary nesters.[15]

Conservation status

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the organisation responsible for assessing the conservation status of species. A species is assessed as subject to varying levels of threat if it has a small, fragmented or declining range, or if the total population is less than 10,000 mature individuals, or numbers have dropped by more than 10% in ten years or with a continuing decline generations. Red-rumped swallow has a huge range and a population numbered in millions. It is not known to be seriously declining in range or numbers, so it is classed as Least Concern.[7]

The red-rumped swallow is extending its range northward in Europe, colonising France and Romania in recent decades.[13] The European population is estimated as 100,000 to 430,000 breeding pairs or 300,000 to 1,290,000 individuals.[7]



Specimen in Drakensberg, South Africa

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) collecting mud for nest W IMG 7985

Collecting mud for nest construction (Parli, Maharashtra, India)

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) collecting mud for nest W IMG 7967

Collecting mud for nest construction (Parli, Maharashtra, India)


Red-rumped swallow on wire (Hong Kong)

Red-rumped Swallow from the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland

ID composite

Red-rumped swallow in Calpe, Spain - May 2018 01

Red-rumped swallow in Calpe, Spain - May 2018

Red-rumped swallow in Calpe, Spain - May 2018 02

Red-rumped swallow in Calpe, Spain - May 2018


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cecropis daurica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  2. ^ Laxmann, Erik (1769). Kungliga Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar. 30: 209, plate 7. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Dickinson, E. C.; Ericson, P. G. P. (2002). "Systematic notes on Asian birds. 32. The type locality of Hirundo daurica Laxmann, 1769". Zoologische Verhandelingen, Leiden. 340: 205–206. ISBN 90-73239-84-2. ISSN 0024-1652.
  4. ^ Prior to the Dickinson paper, the type location had been listed as "the Sung-hua Chiang, Heilungkiang, China near its confluence with the Amur River" as for example in Turner (1989) pp. 201–204
  5. ^ Boie, Heinrich (1826). Isis von Oken. 19 Missing or empty |title= (help) column 971
  6. ^ Turner (1989) p. 9
  7. ^ a b c "Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica BirdLife species factsheet". BirdLife International. Retrieved 3 January 2010
  8. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  9. ^ Lewis, Charlton T. (1888). A Latin dictionary for schools. Harper & Brothers. ISBN 0-19-910204-X.
  10. ^ "Cecropis domicella - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  11. ^ a b Ali, S.; Ripley, S. D. (1986). Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. 5 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 66–72.
  12. ^ Dickinson, E. C.; Dekker, R. W. R. J. (2001). "Systematic notes on Asian birds. 13. A preliminary review of the Hirundinidae". Zool. Verh. Leiden. 335: 127–144. ISSN 0024-1652.
  13. ^ a b Turner (1989) pp. 201–204
  14. ^ Phillips, W. W. A. (January 1953). "A grass-fire association of the Ceylon Swallow Hirundo daurica hyperythra". Ibis. 95 (1): 142. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919x.1953.tb00674.x.
  15. ^ Winkler, David W.; Sheldon, Frederick H. (June 1993). "Evolution of nest construction in swallows (Hirundinidae): a molecular phylogenetic perspective". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 90 (12): 5705–5707. doi:10.1073/pnas.90.12.5705. PMC 46790. PMID 8516319.


External links


Atticora is a genus of bird in the swallow family Hirundinidae. These species are found in South America.

It contains the following two species:

White-banded swallow (Atticora fasciata)

Black-collared swallow (Atticora melanoleuca)

Forest swallow

The forest swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria.

Galápagos martin

The Galápagos martin (Progne modesta) is a species of bird in the Hirundinidae family, endemic to the Galápagos Islands.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, pastureland, and heavily degraded former forest.


The bird genus Hirundo is a group of passerines in the family Hirundinidae (swallows and martins). The genus name is Latin for a swallow. These are the typical swallows, including the widespread barn swallow. Many of this group have blue backs, red on the face and sometimes the rump or nape, and whitish or rufous underparts. With fifteen species this genus is the largest in its family.

List of birds of Islamabad

This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.

Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Little egret, Egretta garzetta

Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia

Grey heron, Ardea cinerea

Purple heron, Ardea purpurea

Common teal, Anas crecca

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus

Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus

Common quail, Coturnix coturnix

Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool

White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus

Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian coot, Fulica atra

Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus

Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus

Feral pigeon, Columba livia

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis

Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri

Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea

Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis

House swift, Apus affinis

White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense

Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps

Crested lark, Galerida cristata

Small skylark, Alauda gulgula

Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola

Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica

Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus

Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

White wagtail, Motacilla alba

Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis

Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys

Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer

Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea

Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius

Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus

Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis

Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris

Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei

White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis

Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops

Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus

Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus

Great tit, Parus major

Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana

Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach

Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus

House crow, Corvus splendens

Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum

Common myna, Acridotheres tristis

Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatus

Monk's Wall nature reserve

The Monk's Wall nature reserve is located a short distance from the quay in Sandwich, Kent and is ideal for seeing wild duck and other wildlife in a wetland habitat. The reserve was opened by celebrity bird-watcher Bill Oddie in May 2000. Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust proposed the design and a management plan which included modifications to ditches and control of water levels to create ecological conditions that attract wetland species of plants, animals and birds.

Historically the land was reclaimed from the river and sea by the monks of Sandwich and the northern boundary is still the old Monks' wall of the 13th century. In the 1953 floods the sea covered the whole area around Sandwich and after these fields were drained a new river bank was created and the land ploughed for arable farming with heavy use of fertiliser. The site covers 69 acres (28 ha) and attracts many rare and migratory birds such as long-billed waders and the red-rumped swallow. The nature reserve recreates wet grazing meadows which were common before land was drained for agriculture. Returning the site to its natural state has also allowed the establishment of many other indigenous plants and animals.

The current warden is Ken Chapman.

The local community benefits from the programme as a footpath around the reserve allows easy access for walkers and bird watchers.

Mosque swallow

The mosque swallow (Cecropis senegalensis) is a large swallow. It is a resident breeder in much of sub-Saharan Africa, although most common in the west. It does not migrate but follows the rains to some extent.

Peruvian martin

The Peruvian martin (Progne murphyi) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. It is found in Peru and far norther Chile.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, pastureland, and urban areas. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Preuss's cliff swallow

Preuss's cliff swallow (Petrochelidon preussi), also known as Preuss's swallow, is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

Red-breasted swallow

The red-breasted swallow (Cecropis semirufa), also known as the rufous-chested swallow, is a member of the Hirundinidae family, found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is confined to the tropical rainforest during the wet season.


The saw-wings, Psalidoprocne, is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The common name of this group is derived from the rough outer edge of the outer primary feather on the wing, which is rough due to recurved barbs. The function of this is unknown. The birds are 11–17 cm long and black or black-and-white in colour. The genus has an African distribution and all species can be found foraging over forest and woodland.

Sinaloa martin

The Sinaloa martin (Progne sinaloae) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It breeds semicolonially in sheer cliff faces within pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico. Presumed migrant records also come from Belize and Guatemala. It is assumed to winter in South America.

Southern martin

The southern martin (Progne elegans) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Argentina and southern Bolivia ; in winter it migrates to the western Amazon Basin.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, and urban areas.

Sri Lanka swallow

The Sri Lanka swallow (Cecropis hyperythra) is a large swallow. It is a resident breeder endemic to Sri Lanka. It is closely related to the red-rumped swallow, and was formerly considered a subspecies.

Striated swallow

The striated swallow (Cecropis striolata) is a species of swallow found in open, often hilly areas, clearings and cultivation in South and Southeast Asia to northeastern India and Taiwan.

The striated swallow was formerly sometimes considered to a subspecies of red-rumped swallow.

The Stone Mushrooms

The Stone Mushrooms (Bulgarian: Каменните гъби) is a rock phenomenon near Beli plast village in Bulgaria, on the road between Haskovo and Kardzhali. They are about 2.5 metres tall. The 3 hectares area was declared to be a natural resource on May 13, 1974, according to №РД-552 bill of the Ministry of Environment and Water. Interesting kinds of birds can be observed in the area: short-toed eagle, Egyptian vulture, red-rumped swallow, black-eared wheatear etc.


Transbaikal, Trans-Baikal, Transbaikalia (Russian: Забайка́лье, tr. Zabaykalye, IPA: [zəbɐjˈkalʲjɪ]), or Dauria (Даурия, Dauriya) is a mountainous region to the east of or "beyond" (trans-) Lake Baikal in Russia.

The steppe and wetland landscapes of Dauria are protected by the Daurian Nature Reserve, which forms part of a World Heritage Site named "The Landscapes of Dauria".

West African swallow

The West African swallow (Cecropis domicella) is a swallow. It is found in Africa from Senegal to eastern Sudan.

Swallows (family: Hirundinidae)


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