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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > HIRUNDINIDAE > ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN [Delichon dasypus]

Asian House-Martin Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Asian House Martin (Delichon dasypus) is a migratory passerine bird of the swallow family Hirundinidae.

It has three subspecies:

  • D. d. dasypus in the southeast of Russia, the Kuril Islands and Japan
  • D. d. cashmiriensis in the Himalayas
  • D. d. nigrimentalis in southeastern China

Nominate dasypus winters in Southeast Asia, although a few remain around hot springs in Japan, but cashmiriensis only moves to lower levels in the mountains. The wintering range of nigrimentalis is unknown.

Description

The adult Asian House Martin is 12 cm long, dark steel blue above with a white rump, and with white underparts. It differs from House Martin in that it has a grey throat and grey-brown, not white, underwings. Nepal House Martin has a black throat, black undertail coverts, white underwings and a squarer tail. Juveniles are duller with grey underparts.

This species' call is a sibilant twitter, and the male's song is a fast za-za-za.

Behaviour

The Asian House Martin is a cliff nester, breeding in colonies sited under an overhang on a vertical cliff. It frequently nests on large buildings such as temples and bridges. The nest is a deep mud cone lined with grasses or feathers. Three or four white eggs are the normal clutch, and this species is often double-brooded. Both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

This martin feeds on insects taken in flight.





                                     



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