Striated swallow

The striated swallow (Cecropis striolata) is a species of swallow found in open, often hilly areas, clearings and cultivation in South and Southeast Asia to northeastern India and Taiwan.

Striated swallow
Striated Swallow (Hirundo striolata striolata).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Cecropis
C. striolata
Binomial name
Cecropis striolata

Hirundo striolata

The striated swallow was formerly sometimes considered to a subspecies of red-rumped swallow.


The striated swallow is 19 cm long with a deeply forked tail. It has blue upperparts other than a reddish collar (sometimes absent) and streaked chestnut rump. The face and underparts are white with heavy dark streaking. The wing are brown. The sexes are alike but juveniles are duller and browner, with a paler rump and shorter outer tail feathers.

There are four races:

  • C. s. striolata breeds in Taiwan, The Philippines and Indonesia.
  • C. s. mayri breeds from northeastern India to northwestern Myanmar and northeastern Bangladesh.[1] It has broader streaks than nominate striolata.
  • C. s. stanfordi breeds from northeastern Myanmar to northern Thailand. It has broad streaks.
  • C. s. vernayi breeds locally in western Thailand. It is more rufous below than the nominate race, and is only faintly streaked on the rump.

The contact call is pin, the alarm is chi-chi-chi, and the song is a soft twittering.

This species, particularly subspecies mayri is very similar to red-rumped swallow of the race japonicus, but is larger, more heavily streaked, and has a less distinct neck collar.


The island subspecies are essentially resident, but the continental races mayri and stanfordi are partial migrants which move south in the winter.


The striated swallow breeds from April to July alone or semi-colonially with scattered nests. The nest is a retort or bottle shaped structure, made from mud pellets and lined with dried grasses and feathers. The clutch is usually four, sometimes five, white eggs except for badia, where two eggs is normal. Both sexes build the nest, and share incubation and the care of the young.

Nests are constructed in natural caves, but very often in artificial sites on bridges, in culverts and on buildings.


The striated swallow feeds low over the ground or at cliff faces on flying insects. It has a slow buoyant flight compared to barn swallow. It will feed with other swallow species.


  • BirdLife International (2004). "Hirundo striolata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2006.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Turner, Angela K; Chris Rose (1989). Swallows & Martins: An Identification Guide and Handbook. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-51174-7.
  • Robson Birds of Thailand ISBN 1-84330-921-1