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Pacific Swallow


Pacific Swallow
Photo Information
Copyright: Ang Hwee Yong (Meerkat) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 20 W: 0 N: 896] (5258)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED +TC20EII, Nikon 77mm Neutral Color
Exposure: f/8, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-29 1:04
Viewed: 3112
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pacific Swallow
Hirundo tahitica

Main features: Small (14cm); wing long; tail barely forked. Genders alike.

Adult: Upperparts metallic blue; forehead, throat, upper breast chestnut; lowerparts grey, never white.

Juvenile: Upperparts browner; less chestnut on throat and forehead.

Call: Described as high pitched tweet in alarm; otherwise a cheerful twittering.

In flight: Dusky underwings and white tail marks.

Pacific Swallows eat insects, catching them during flight. To feast on swarming insects, they may join other birds like Swifts. But unlike Swifts that simply trawl the air with their mouths open, Swallows don't hunt on the wing. They perch and wait, then actually chase after individual prey and perform aerial acrobatics to catch them. Swallows also hunt at lower levels than Swifts.

Unlike Swifts, Swallows can perch and also come to the ground to drink or gather nesting material.

Pacific Swallows are found everywhere, but usually near water and open country. In Singapore, they are particularly common along the coasts, and also found in mangroves.

Migration? Pacific Swallows are resident. They are never found in such huge flocks as the visiting Barn Swallows, which they closely resemble.

Although they may feed together with Barn Swallows, they don't join the Barn Swallows huge roosts.

Breeding: Resident Pacific Swallows nest on vertical surfaces with overhangs to protect their mud nest (which would disintegrate in the rain). These may be cliffs with an overhang but are often bridges, dams and other man-made structures. But they shy away from humans and prefer unoccupied buildings. They build solid nests out of mud pellets brought by the beakful from puddles and river banks. Combined with dry grasses, these pellets are arranged much like bricks to form shallow cups. These may be lined with dry grass and feathers. At a particularly suitable nest site, they may form large colonies. Usually 3 white eggs are laid. These are long and pointed and have brown spots.

Status in Singapore: Very common resident throughout the island including North and South offshore islands.

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2007-07-29 13:53]

Good again - though I think I like this one even better than your first! Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

Great shot. nice color and detail.

A gorgeous bird! The background looks a bit fake, being so flat and featureless, and such a bright green -- I think I would consider reducing the saturation on that a bit. It distracts the eye away from the subject.

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