Hirundinidae


Familiar to people around the world, swallows are most widely known for their elegance in the air and their use of manmade buildings for nests (e.g. Barn Swallow, House Martin). Feeding on aerial insects, they share the same foraging niche as swifts and swiftlets, though typically at lower levels in the air column. Whereas the latter flutter, soar and dash purposefully on long sickle-like wings, swallows seemingly dance in the air, banking and turning sharply on relatively short, rather triangular-shaped wings. Swallows belong to the Passeriformes, an order to which roughly half of the world’s bird species belong, and like other members of this group (the passerines) have four toes, three pointing forward and one backward, which are used to perch on many substrates, including telephone or electric wires and many other artificial structures. Swallows also possess a very short bill, short legs, small feet and in many species, a long, forked tail. Gregarious by nature, they often breed in small colonies. Four species can be found in Java, of which three are commonly found at Baluran.

Flight:

Graceful and very agile; sweeping and twisting as they chase their prey in the air or pluck it from the still water surface.

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