Hellenica World

Hirundo

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Sylvioidea
Familia: Hirundinidae
Subfamilia: Hirundininae
Genus: Hirundo
Species: H. abyssinica - H. aethiopica - H. albigularis - H. angolensis - H. atrocaerulea - H. cucullata - H. daurica - H. dimidiata - H. domicella - H. domicola - H. griseopyga - H. leucosoma - H. lucida - H. megaensis - H. neoxena - H. nigrita - H. nigrorufa - H. obsoleta - H. perdita - H. preussi - H. rufigula - H. rustica - H. semirufa - H. senegalensis - H. smithii - H. spilodera - H. striolata - H. tahitica

Name

Hirundo Linnaeus, 1758

Reference

Systema Naturae ed.10 p.191

The Lesser Striped Swallow (The bird genus Hirundo is a group of passerines in the family Hirundinidae (swallows and martins). 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.

All of the species are found in the Old World, although one, the Barn Swallow, is cosmopolitan, also occurring in the Americas.

Genetic evidence has recently shown that many of the species previously included in Hirundo are less closely related than their appearance might suggest;[citation needed] these species are sometimes treated in the separate genera Cecropis (e.g. Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica, previously Hirundo daurica) and Petrochelidon (e.g. Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, previously Hirundo pyrrhonota); they are as distinct from typical Hirundo as the House Martins in the genus Delichon.

Species

* Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
* Red-chested Swallow Hirundo lucida
* Angolan Swallow Hirundo angolensis
* Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
* Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
* White-throated Swallow Hirundo albigularis
* Ethiopian Swallow Hirundo aethiopica
* Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
* White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita
* Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma
* White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis
* Pearl-breasted Swallow Hirundo dimidiata
* Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea
* Black-and-rufous Swallow Hirundo nigrorufa


References


* del Hoyo et al., eds. (2004). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-69-5
* A. Turner & C. Rose (1989). Swallows and Martins. Helm. ISBN 0747032025
syn. Cecropis abyssinica) is a large swallow. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.

This is a bird of wooded, mainly lowland habitats, and is replaced in montane grassland by the Greater Striped Swallow, Hirundo cucullata. It is often found around human habitation. The Lesser Striped Swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure. The nest has a soft lining, and may be reused in later years. The nest may be built in a cave or under a rock overhang or a tree branch. This species has benefited from its willingness to use buildings, bridges, culverts and similar structures. Given the choice, it will select a high nest site.

The eggs are glossy white sometimes with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch. Incubation is by the female alone for 14–16 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

Lesser Swallow is 15–10 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The underwing coverts are tawny. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. There are five or six subspecies differing in the extent of the underpart streaking

Lesser Striped Swallow has heavier and darker underparts striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger Greater Striped Swallow. Lesser also prefers less open habitats.

Lesser Striped Swallow is common, and has benefited from the availability of nest sites around habitation. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits. The flight is erratic, and the call is a nasal zeh zeh zeh zeh zeh.
References

* Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, ISBN 1-86872-721-1
* Turner and Rose, Swallows and Martins ISBN 0-7470-3205-5

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