Hill swallow

The hill swallow (Hirundo domicola) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in southern India and Sri Lanka. It is resident apart from some local seasonal movements. This bird is associated with coasts, but is increasingly spreading to forested uplands.[2] It was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Pacific swallow.[3]

Hill swallow
Hill Swallow (Hirundo domicola) by Dharani Prakash.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Hirundo
H. domicola
Binomial name
Hirundo domicola
Jerdon, 1841


Hill Swallow, painting by John Gould

This species is a small swallow at 13 cm (5.1 in). It has a blue back with browner wings and tail, a red face and throat, and dusky underparts. It differs from the barn swallow and the closely related welcome swallow in its shorter and less forked tail.[2][4]



The hill swallow builds a neat cup-shaped nest, constructed with mud pellets collected in the beak, under a cliff ledge or on a man-made structures such as a building, bridge or tunnel. The nest is lined with softer material, and the clutch is up to four eggs. Detailed studies on the breeding ecology of the species was conducted in Silent Valley National Park and Muthikkulam reserve forests of Kerala.[3]


It is similar in behaviour to other aerial insectivores, such as other swallows and the unrelated swifts. It is a fast flyer and feeds on insects, especially flies, while airborne.[2]

Hill swallow


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Hirundo domicola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Turner, Angela K; Rose, Chris (1989). Swallows & martins: an identification guide and handbook. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-51174-7.
  3. ^ a b Balakrishnan, Peroth (May 2010). "Breeding biology of the Hill Swallow (Hirundo domicola) in Western Ghats, India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 107 (2): 109–115.
  4. ^ Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim (2002). Pocket Guide to Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. London: Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-6304-9.