Wire-tailed Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow is found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Name : Hirundo smithii
Kingdom             : Animalia
Phylum               : Chordata
Class                   : Aves
Order                  : Passeriformes
Family                 : Hirundinidae
Genus                  : Hirundo
Species               : H. smithii

How to identify this bird : 
  • It is a small bird in the swallow family measuring about 14 cms.
  • The Wire-tailed Swallow has a chestnut coloured crown, glossy steel blue upper-parts and white under-parts.
  • It has a very long filamentous outermost tail feathers, which trail behind like two wires. Hence the name Wire-tail Swallow.
  • As you can see in the photogallery above, both the male and female are similar but the female has shorter wire-tails.
  • Juveniles have a brown crown and brownish colour cast to blue upperparts and tail.
Where can I find this Bird:
  • The Wire-tailed Swallow is found near DPS Tapi near the fields, canals and bridges where there is fresh water close-by. e.g.., tanks and other water reservoirs.
  • They are generally found singly or in pairs unlike other swallows which are found in coloniesThey are  very fast flyers.
  • It makes a chit-chit sound while it flying low over water bodies or ploughed fields. The male sings a nice twittering song during the breeding season.
  • They can breed at any time of the year but generally between March to September. They lay upto five eggs.
  • They make half-bowl nests that are lined with mud collected with their beaks. These nests are placed near water generally on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges. Both the male and female share in building their nests and feeding their young.
  • They generally feed on insects, especially flies, while airborne. They are typically seen low over water, with which they are more closely associated than most swallows.
Local Names : 

Hindi          : Ababil
Bengali       : Ababil
Telugu        : Wana kovela
Malayalam : Vayalkoti
Tamil           : Adai kallan kuruvi, Thalai illatha kuruvi, Tam-padi