22 May 2012

Reddish-bellied Swallow

Reddish-bellied Swallows are occasionally seen on passage and there is often wild speculation about the origins of such birds. I've seen a number of these birds before but I have never come across one that's been on breeding territory, so was interested to hear of this one photographed at Nantgaredig by Joyce Rae.
(c) J. Rae
Whilst initially this might look a possible candidate for transitiva, the largely non-migratory eastern Mediterranean race, Svensson states that occasionally the nominate form can be buffish-red below, especially so towards north-west Africa, this being the southern limit of the nominate form. The breast band is too wide for the N.American race erythrogaster, therefore, this handsome, long-tailed male is presumably just an example of the reddish-bellied form of the nominate race Hirundo rustica rustica.

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