The rock martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family that is resident in central and southern Africa. It breeds mainly in the mountains, but also at lower altitudes, especially in rocky areas and around towns, and, unlike most swallows, it is often found far from water. It is 12–15 cm (4.7–5.9 in) long, with mainly brown plumage, paler-toned on the upper breast and underwing coverts, and with white "windows" on the spread tail in flight. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles have pale fringes to the upperparts and flight feathers. The former northern subspecies are smaller, paler, and whiter-throated than southern African forms, and are now usually split as a separate species, the pale crag martin. The rock martin hunts along cliff faces for flying insects using a slow flight with much gliding. Its call is a soft twitter.
This martin builds a deep bowl nest on a sheltered horizontal surface, or a neat quarter-sphere against a vertical rock face or wall. The nest is constructed with mud pellets and lined with grass or feathers, and may be built on natural sites under cliff overhangs or on man-made structures such as buildings, dam walls, culverts and bridges. It is often reused for subsequent broods or in later years. This species is a solitary breeder, and is not gregarious, but small groups may breed close together in suitable locations. The two or three eggs of a typical clutch are white with brown and grey blotches, and are incubated by both adults for 16–19 days prior to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 22–24 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.
This small martin is caught in flight by several fast, agile falcon species, such as hobbies, and it sometimes carries parasites, but it faces no major threats. Because of its range of nearly 10 million km2 (4 million sq mi) and large, apparently stable, population, it is not seen as vulnerable and is assessed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.
|At the Karoo National Park, Western Cape, South Africa.|
Hirundo fuligula Lichtenstein, 1842
The rock martin was formally described in 1842 as Hirundo fuligula by German physician, explorer and zoologist Martin Lichtenstein and was moved to the new genus Ptyonoprogne by German ornithologist Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach in 1850. Its nearest relatives are the three other members of the genus, the pale crag martin, P. obsoleta of north Africa, the dusky crag martin P. concolor of southern Asia and the Eurasian crag martin P. rupestris. The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek ptuon (πτύον), "a fan", referring to the shape of the opened tail, and Procne (Πρόκνη), a mythological girl who was turned into a swallow. The specific name fuligula means "sooty-throated", from Latin fuligo "soot" and gula "throat".
The three Ptyonoprogne species are members of the swallow family, and are placed in the subfamily Hirundininae, which comprises all swallows and martins except the very distinctive river martins. DNA sequence studies suggest that there are three major groupings within the Hirundininae, broadly correlating with the type of nest built. The groups are the "core martins" including burrowing species like the sand martin, the "nest-adopters", which are birds like the tree swallow that utilise natural cavities, and the "mud nest builders". The Ptyonoprogne species construct open mud nests and therefore belong to the last group. Hirundo species also build open nests, Delichon house martins have a closed nest, and the Cecropis and Petrochelidon swallows have retort-like closed nests with an entrance tunnel.
The genus Ptyonoprogne is closely related to the larger swallow genus, Hirundo, but a DNA analysis showed that a coherent enlarged Hirundo should contain all the mud-builder genera. Although the nests of the Ptyonoprogne crag martins resembles those of typical Hirundo species like the barn swallow, the DNA research suggested that if the Delichon house martins are considered to be a separate genus, as is normally the case, Cecropis, Petrochelidon and Ptyonoprogne should also be split off.
There are several subspecies differing in plumage shade or size, although the differences are clinal, and races interbreed where their ranges meet. The small, pale former subspecies (obsoleta, peroplasta, perpallida, presaharica, spatzi, arabica and buchanani) found in the mountains of North Africa, the Arabian peninsula and southwest Asia are now normally split as a separate species, the pale crag martin, following German ornithologist Jean Cabanis, who first formally described these birds, but the changes in size and colour are continuous, and the forms often intergrade where they meet, so the evidence for separate species is not strong. The southern forms of the rock martin can weigh more than twice as much as the smallest northern subspecies of pale crag martin. The average weight for P. f. fusciventris is 22.4 g (0.79 oz) against 10 g (0.35 oz) for P. o. obsoleta. The robust, large-billed southernmost forms (P. f. fuligula, P. f. pretoriae, and P. f. anderssoni) are sufficiently different from dark, fine-billed P. f. fusciventris that the latter could also be regarded as a potentially different species. However, Rhodesian ornithologist Michael Irwin collected specimens from southern Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) which were dark above like P. f. fusciventris and rich reddish below like P. f. fuligula. This led him to suggest that the two groups had previously been isolated, but were probably hybridising following secondary contact.
|P. f. fuligula||(Lichtenstein, 1842)||Eastern Cape.||The nominate subspecies.|
|P. f. pusilla||(Zedlitz, 1908)||Mali to western Sudan and most of Ethiopia.||Paler plumage and smaller than the nominate subspecies.|
|P. f. fusciventris||(Vincent, 1933)||Southern Sudan and Ethiopia south to northern Mozambique.||Smaller than P. f. pusilla with dark plumage.|
|P. f. bansoensis||(Bannerman, 1923)||West and central Africa.||Small, and very dark plumage.|
|P. f. anderssoni||(Sharpe & Wyatt, 1887)||Southwestern Cape north to southern Angola.||Size similar to nominate, but paler plumage.|
|P. f. pretoriae||Roberts, 1922||Eastern South Africa.||Plumage as nominate, but larger.|
The rock martin of the nominate subspecies P. f. fuligula is 12–15 cm (4.7–5.9 in) long with earth-brown upperparts and a short square tail that has small white patches near the tips of all but the central and outermost pairs of feathers. It has a cinnamon chin, throat, upper breast and underwing coverts, with the rest of the underparts being a similar brown to the upperparts. The eyes are brown, the small bill is mainly black, and the legs are brownish-pink. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles have pale edges to the upperparts and flight feathers. The other subspecies differ from the nominate form as detailed above.
The rock martin's flight is slow, with rapid wing beats interspersed with flat-winged glides, and it is more acrobatic than the larger Eurasian crag martin. It is a quiet bird; the song is a muffled twitter, and other calls include a trrt resembling the call of the common house martin, a nasal vick, and a high pitched twee contact call.
The rock martin is much drabber than most African swallows, and confusion is unlikely except with other crag martins or with sand martins of the genus Riparia. The pale crag martin is smaller, paler and greyer than its southern relative. Although only slightly larger than the sand martin and brown-throated sand martin, the rock martin is more robust, has white tail spots, and lacks a breast band. It is paler on the throat, breast and underwings than the all-dark form of the brown-throated sand martin.
The rock martin breeds in suitable habitat in Africa north to Nigeria, Chad and Ethiopia. It is largely resident apart from local movements or a descent to lower altitudes after breeding. This species has been recorded as a vagrant in Gabon, and its status in Congo is uncertain.
The natural breeding habitat is hilly or mountainous country with cliffs, gorges and caves up to 3,700 m (12,000 ft) above sea level, but this martin also breeds in lowlands, especially if rocks or buildings are available, and may be found far from water. It readily uses man-made structures as a substitute for natural precipices.
Rock martin pairs often nest alone, although where suitable sites are available small loose colonies may form with up to 40 pairs. These martins aggressively defend their nesting territory against conspecifics and other species. Breeding dates vary geographically and with local weather conditions. Two broods are common, and three have been raised in a season. Breeding mainly August to September. The nest, built by both adults over several weeks, is made from several hundred mud pellets and lined with soft dry grass or sometimes feathers. It may be a half-cup when constructed under an overhang on a vertical wall or cliff, or bowl-shaped like that of the barn swallow when placed on a sheltered ledge. The nest may be built on a rock cliff face, in a crevice or on a man-made structure, and is re-used for the second brood and in subsequent years.
The clutch is usually two or three buff-white eggs blotched with sepia or grey-brown particularly at the wide end. The average egg size in South Africa was 20.8 x 14.1 mm (0.82 x 0.56 in) with a weight of 2.17 g (0.077 oz). Both adults incubate the eggs for 16–19 days prior to hatching and feed the chicks about ten times an hour until they fledge and for several days after they can fly. The fledging time can vary from 22–24 days to 25–30 days, though the latter estimates probably take into account fledged young returning to the nest for food.
The rock martin feeds mainly on insects caught in flight, although it will occasionally feed on the ground. When breeding, birds often fly back and forth along a rock face catching insects in their bills and feed close to the nesting territory. At other times, they may hunt low over open ground. The insects caught depend on what is locally available, but may include mosquitoes and other flies, Hymenoptera, ants and beetles. This martin often feeds alone, but sizeable groups may gather at grass fires to feast on the fleeing insects, and outside the breeding season flocks of up to 300 may form where food is abundant. Cliff faces generate standing waves in the airflow which concentrate insects near vertical areas. Crag martins exploit the area close to the cliff when they hunt, relying on their high manoeuvrability and ability to perform tight turns.
A study of nine bird species including four hirundines showed that the more young there are in a nest, the more frequent are the parents' feeding visits, but the visits do not increase in proportion to the number of young. On average a solitary nestling therefore gets more food than a member of a pair or of a trio. Since the nestling period is not prolonged in proportion to the drop in feeding rate, an individual fledgling from a larger brood is likely to weigh less when it leaves the nest. However, a subspecies of the rock martin (P. f. fusciventris) was an anomaly in respect of both feeding rate and nestling time. There was no difference in parental feeding rate for members of a pair and members of a trio, but the nestling period averaged 1.5 days longer for trios than pairs.
Some falcons have the speed and agility to catch swallows and martins in flight, and rock martins may be hunted by species such as the peregrine falcon, Taita falcon, African hobby and wintering Eurasian hobby. Rock martins often share their nesting sites with little swifts, which sometimes forcibly take over the martin's nests. In 1975, one of the first findings of the tick Argas (A.) africolumbae was in a nest of Ptyonoprogne f. fusciventris in Kenya, at that time the martin was described under its synonym Ptyonoprogne fuligula rufigula (Fischer & Reichenow).
The rock martin has a very large range of 9.5 million km2 (3.7 million sq mi). The total population is unknown, but the bird is described as generally common, although scarce in Botswana and Namibia. The population is thought to be stable, mainly due to the absence of evidence of any declines or substantial threats. Its large range and presumably high numbers mean that the rock martin is not considered to be threatened, and it is classed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.
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)Black-and-rufous swallow
The black-and-rufous swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.Crag martin
The crag martins are four species of small passerine birds in the genus Ptyonoprogne of the swallow family. They are the Eurasian crag martin (P. rupestris), the pale crag martin (P. obsoleta), the rock martin (P. fuligula) and the dusky crag martin (P. concolor). They are closely related to each other, and have formerly sometimes been considered to be one species. They are closely related to the Hirundo barn swallows and are placed in that genus by some authorities. These are small swallows with brown upperparts, paler underparts without a breast band, and a square tail with white patches. They can be distinguished from each other on size, the colour shade of the upperparts and underparts, and minor plumage details like throat colour. They resemble the sand martin, but are darker below, and lack a breast band.
These are species of craggy mountainous habitats, although all three will also frequent human habitation. The African rock martin and the south Asian dusky crag martin are resident, but the Eurasian crag martin is a partial migrant; birds breeding in southern Europe are largely resident, but some northern breeders and most Asian birds are migratory, wintering in north Africa or India. They do not normally form large breeding colonies, but are more gregarious outside the breeding season. These martins build neat mud nests under cliff overhangs or in crevices in their mountain homes, and have readily adapted to the artificial cliffs provided by buildings and motorway bridges. Up to five eggs, white with dark blotches at the wider end, may be laid, and a second clutch is common. Ptyonoprogne martins feed mainly on insects caught in flight, and patrol cliffs near the breeding site with a slow hunting flight as they seek their prey. They may be hunted by falcons and infected with mites and fleas, but their large ranges and populations mean that none of the crag martins are considered to be threatened, and all are classed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Death at a Funeral (2010 film)
Death at a Funeral is a 2010 American black comedy film directed by Neil LaBute with a screenplay by Dean Craig, based on the 2007 British film of the same name that Craig also wrote. The film features an ensemble cast including Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Peter Dinklage, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Loretta Devine, Zoë Saldaña, Columbus Short, Luke Wilson, Keith David, Ron Glass and Kevin Hart; Dinklage is the only actor appear in both films. The film was released in the United States on April 16, 2010.Dusky crag martin
The dusky crag martin (Ptyonoprogne concolor) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is about 13 cm (5 in) long with a broad body and wings, and a short square tail that has small white patches near the tips of most of its feathers. This martin has sooty-brown upperparts and slightly paler underparts. The two subspecies are resident breeding birds in South Asia from the Indian subcontinent to southwestern China and the northern parts of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
This martin nests under a cliff overhang or on a man-made structure, building a neat half-cup mud nest with a soft lining. Both adults incubate the two to four eggs and feed the chicks. This species does not form large breeding colonies, but it is more gregarious outside the breeding season. It feeds a wide variety of insects that are caught as the martin flies near to cliff faces. It may be hunted by large bats as well as birds of prey, but its extensive and expanding range and large population mean that there are no significant conservation concerns.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.Grey-rumped swallow
The grey-rumped swallow (Pseudhirundo griseopyga) is a species of bird in the monotypic genus, Pseudhirundo, in the family Hirundinidae.
It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.Pale crag martin
The pale crag martin (Ptyonoprogne obsoleta) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family that is resident in northern Africa and in southwestern Asia east to Pakistan. It breeds mainly in the mountains, but also at lower altitudes, especially in rocky areas and around towns. Unlike most swallows, it is often found far from water. It is 12–13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) long, with mainly brown plumage, paler-toned on the upper breast and underwing coverts, and with white "windows" on the spread tail in flight. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles have pale fringes to the upperparts and flight feathers. It was formerly considered to be the northern subspecies of the rock martin of southern Africa, although it is smaller, paler, and whiter-throated than that species. The pale crag martin hunts along cliff faces for flying insects using a slow flight with much gliding. Its call is a soft twitter.
This martin builds a deep bowl nest on a sheltered horizontal surface, or a neat quarter-sphere against a vertical rock face or wall. The nest is constructed with mud pellets and lined with grass or feathers, and may be built on natural sites under cliff overhangs or on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges. It is often reused for subsequent broods or in later years. This species is often a solitary breeder, but small groups may breed close together in suitable locations. The two or three eggs of a typical clutch are white with brown and grey blotches, and are incubated by both adults for 16–19 days prior to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 22–24 days, although the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.
The pale crag martin is caught in flight by several fast, agile falcon species, such as hobbies, and it sometimes carries parasites, but it faces no major threats. Because of its range of nearly 6 million km2 (2.3 million sq mi) and a large and apparently increasing population, it is not seen as vulnerable and is assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.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.Progne
Progne is a genus of birds. The genus name refers to Procne (Πρόκνη), a mythological girl who was turned into a swallow to save her from her husband. She had killed their son to avenge the rape of her sister.Saturday Night Live (season 22)
The twenty-second season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 28, 1996, and May 17, 1997.
This season is notable for the host selection. Seven of the 20 hosts were former cast members. They included Dana Carvey, Robert Downey, Jr., Phil Hartman, Chris Rock, Martin Short, Chevy Chase and Mike Myers. This would mark Chase's final time hosting before getting banned (returning much later for numerous guest appearances).Saw-wing
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.Stelgidopteryx
Stelgidopteryx (Baird, 1858) is a small genus of swallows. It contains two species:
Adults of both species are brown on top with lighter underparts and a slightly forked tail. They nest in cavities but do not excavate their holes or form colonies.
These birds forage in flight over water or fields, usually flying low. They eat insects.
"Rough-winged" refers to the serrated edge feathers on the wing of this genus; this feature would only be apparent in the hand.Swallow
The swallows, martins and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance. The term Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, divided into 19 genera, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is also thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. They also occur on a number of oceanic islands. A number of European and North American species are long-distance migrants; by contrast, the West and South African swallows are non-migratory.
This family comprises two subfamilies: Pseudochelidoninae (the river martins of the genus Pseudochelidon) and Hirundininae (all other swallows, martins and saw-wings). Within the Old World, the name martin tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name swallow for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. Within the New World, "martin" is reserved for members of the genus Progne. (These two systems are responsible for the sand martin being called "bank swallow" in the New World.)