Hirundo tahitica Gmelin, 1789. OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Hill swallow, Pacific sea swallow, Pacific swallow, welcome swallow; French: Hirondelle de Tahiti; German: Süd-seeschwalbe; Spanish: Golondrina Pacífica.
5.1 in (13 cm). The back, wings, and tail are colored glossy purple-black, with a reddish face and chin and a brown-streaked belly. The tail is deeply forked.
Southern India, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and many Pacific islands.
Occurs in open tropical habitats, usually in the vicinity of coastal water.
A non-migratory species that uses song and aerial display to defend a breeding site and attract a mate. The song is a loud twittering.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on insects that are caught in flight.
Monogamous. Builds a cup-shaped nest of mud and some plant fibers that is attached to a cliff or building. The clutch size ranges from one to three eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female, but both parents feed the young.
Not threatened. A widespread and locally abundant species.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Not of much importance to humans, other than the indirect economic benefits of ecotourism focused on birding. ♦
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