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Streak-throated Swallow

Petrochelidon fluvicola

The streak-throated swallow, also known as the Indian cliff swallow (Petrochelidon fluvicola), is a passerine bird of modest size, measuring approximately 11 cm in length. It boasts a somewhat dull chestnut hue adorning its forehead and crown, while its underparts are of a whitish cast. The upper feathers shimmer with a steel-blue sheen, and the rump displays a pale brown. The tail is distinctively square-ended. One can identify this bird by the brown streaks that grace its throat and chest, setting it apart from its avian kin.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the streak-throated swallow, look for the characteristic brown streaks on the throat and chest. The square-ended tail and the combination of a dull chestnut crown with steel-blue upper feathers are also key features to observe.

Habitat

This swallow is commonly found in large colonies within cultivated fields and open areas adjacent to bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, canals, and rivers, where it thrives in the abundance of insects.

Distribution

The streak-throated swallow is a familiar sight across South Asia, from the plains of Pakistan, along the base of the Himalayas to Sikkim, and southwards through the Indian peninsula to Point Calimere in Tamil Nadu.

Behaviour

These swallows are known to consume midges and other diminutive winged insects, which they adeptly catch mid-flight. They exhibit a strong fidelity to specific locations, likely influenced by the availability of food sources. Their nesting season spans almost the entire year, with a preference for the periods from December to April and July to October.

Song & Calls

The streak-throated swallow communicates with a twittering chirp while perched. In flight, it can be heard emitting a sharp "trr-trr" sound.

Breeding

The breeding season of the streak-throated swallow is quite extensive, covering most of the year. They construct large colonial nests made of mud, featuring many pot-like structures fused together, each with its own entrance tube.

Similar Species

While there are no specific similar species mentioned, the brown streaks on the throat and chest are the primary features to distinguish the streak-throated swallow from other swallows.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the streak-throated swallow consists primarily of midges and other small flying insects, which they capture in the air.

Conservation status

The streak-throated swallow is currently classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of population decline or habitat loss.

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Streak-throated Swallows on Birda

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