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Blue Swallow | Hirundo atrocaerulea

The Blue Swallow is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Hirundinidae bird family group which includes birds such as Hirundinidae.

The description for the Blue Swallow (Latin name Hirundo atrocaerulea) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Hirundo atrocaerulea can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 521 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 752. You will find a picture of the Blue Swallow on page 801.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Blue Swallow between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Blue Swallow has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 13 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured black. The Hirundo atrocaerulea has a blue coloured throat, black legs and a blue coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is blue

Back is blue

Feeding Habits ...

The Blue Swallow is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Hirundo atrocaerulea attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Blue Swallow is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured purple.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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