Crag martin

Ptyonoprogne rupestris

SUBFAMILY

Hirundinae

TAXONOMY

Hirundo rupestris Scopoli, 1769. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Eurasian crag martin; French: Hirondelle de rochers; German: Felsenschwalbe; Soanish: Avión Roquero.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5 in (14 cm). It has a brownish gray back, tail, and wings, a lighter colored throat and belly, and white spots on the tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Occurs in mountainous regions of southern and central Europe, western and central Asia, and northern North Africa. It migrates to winter in southern parts of its range in the Middle East and central and southern Africa.

HABITAT

A migratory species that inhabits open meadow habitat near cliffs and ravines, often near water, in mountainous areas at mid-elevation.

BEHAVIOR

Usually migrates in flocks. It defends a breeding site and attracts a mate by song and aerial displays.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on insects that are caught in flight.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. The nest is built of mud and is typically located beneath a protecting overhang on a rocky cliff. Typically lays a clutch of three to four eggs, which are incubated by the female. Both parents feed the young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A widespread and locally abundant species. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Not of much importance to humans, but sought after by birders and other ecotourists. ♦

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