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A photo of a Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Fairy Martin

Fairy Martin

Petrochelidon ariel

The fairy martin (Petrochelidon ariel) is a member of the swallow family of passerine birds which breeds in Australia. It is migratory wintering through most of Australia, with some birds reaching New Guinea and Indonesia. It is increasingly a wanderer to New Zealand, where it may have bred. This species is frequently placed in the genus Hirundo as Hirundo ariel. It is monotypic. This is a bird of open country near water, and is usually seen near its nest sites in cliffs, culverts or bridges. The fairy martin is dumpy and square tailed. It averages 12 cm long and weighs 11 g. The adult has an iridescent blue back, brown wings and tail, a rufous crown and nape, and a whitish rump. The underparts are dull white. The sexes are similar, but young birds are duller and browner, with a paler forehead and pale fringes to the back and wing feathers. This species can be distinguished from other Australian swallows by its pale rump. The most similar species, the tree martin, has a shallowly forked tail and blue-black head and nape. The call of this vocal swallow is a chrrrr and the song is a high-pitched twitter. The vocalizations are higher pitched than those of the tree martin.
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Sightings

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Hannah Rolland
Thursday 25 May 2023 - 5:13am
Australia
A map showing the sighting location
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Angus Hamilton
Friday 07 Apr 2023 - 11:07am
Australia
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Angus Hamilton
Angus Hamilton
Friday 07 Apr 2023 - 9:30am
Australia
A map showing the sighting location
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Angus Hamilton
Wednesday 29 Mar 2023 - 7:26am
Australia
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