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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 14:40   #1
ggregory71
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Hybrid Swallow x House Martin

This post is intended for general interest.
The attached photographs are of a hybrid Swallow x House Martin caught and ringed at the Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire, hirundine roost two nights ago.
It was aged as a juvenile mainly because of the yellow gape flange. It had a juvenile Swallow-like upper head but only a 'ghost' of a breast band. The undertail coverts were pinky-buff. The rump was off-white tinged pink-buff. The tail was deeply notched but had no mirrors. The upper body and head had some blue.
On a brief view it might be confused with a Red-rumped Swallow, but on a longer view it would show the following differences: tail notched (forked in Red-rumped Swallow), undertail coverts pale (very dark in RrS), no collar effect (present in RrS), 'ghost' breast band (absent in RrS).
A similar bird was seen at Gibraltar Point last year. Apparently there are several others around the UK at present and at least four others have been trapped at other hirundine roosts recently.
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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 14:51   #2
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Unusual... thanks for sharing.
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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 15:14   #3
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E.g. from RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN 1999
http://www.euring.org/about_euring/n...3/saurola2.htm
In total, 24,134 Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica were ringed in Finland in 1999 by 138 ringers. A total of 16 hybrids between the Barn Swallow and House Martin, Delichon urbica, belonging to 10 different broods were detected already as nestlings. In Savo one out of 128 Swallow nestlings was a hybrid! In all these cases the nests were located inside the building and no House Martins were seen close to the nests. In addition, 26 hybrids were captured in 1998 as first year birds in 8 reed-beds. This means that one out of 489 Swallows ringed at roosts was a hybrid. Altogether 80 such hybrids have been reported from Finland so far.

Some hybrids more...
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe...m/hybr6_10.htm
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe...tm/hybr4_7.htm
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe...tm/hybr5_8.htm
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe...ehtm/hybr9.htm
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe...m/johybrid.htm

the copulation of House Martin and Barn Swallow:
http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/projects/boe.../copulatie.htm
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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 15:27   #4
Dougie Preston
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By the sounds of it, these hybrids aren't all that uncommon. So why are the not seen very often in the wild in the UK? I've heard of the odd one being ringed, but never heard of any seen in the field!
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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 15:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougie Preston View Post
By the sounds of it, these hybrids aren't all that uncommon. So why are the not seen very often in the wild in the UK? I've heard of the odd one being ringed, but never heard of any seen in the field!
There can be two reasons; firstly, the hybrids are rather difficult to identify in the field (reminds too much often just House Martins), secondly the survival rate can be rather low, because I haven't heard that someone has seen adult hybrids...
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Old Monday 17th September 2007, 20:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougie Preston View Post
By the sounds of it, these hybrids aren't all that uncommon. So why are the not seen very often in the wild in the UK? I've heard of the odd one being ringed, but never heard of any seen in the field!
Hello Doug,
saw one at Beesands Ley, South Devon a few springs ago. On first sight made the heart miss a beat but soon obviously not a Red-rumped Swallow. Rump had a more light reddish tinge to it than in the photograph, guess with mine perhaps a red-rumped influence could not be totally discounted.
Perry

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Old Tuesday 18th September 2007, 12:40   #7
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Hybrid Sand Martin x House Martin

This morning I mentioned the Gibraltar Point hybrid to another Lincolnshire ringer and he replied that he had once, a long time ago, caught a hybrid Sand Martin x House Martin at a Sand Martin colony. He described it briefly as wood brown with a white rump. How common is this particular hybrid?
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Old Tuesday 18th September 2007, 14:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggregory71 View Post
This morning I mentioned the Gibraltar Point hybrid to another Lincolnshire ringer and he replied that he had once, a long time ago, caught a hybrid Sand Martin x House Martin at a Sand Martin colony. He described it briefly as wood brown with a white rump. How common is this particular hybrid?
Rip rip X Del urb is very rare case, because these species breeds totally different breeding places. This hybrid is ringed once in year 2003 in Finland. Totally 201 Hir rus X Del urb hybrids are ringed during 1913-2006 in Finland and even 3 Hir rus X Rip rip hybrids (latest two in year 2003 and 2006).

Also it has reported such hybrids as Barn Swallow X Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow X Cave Swallow, and also possible hybrids with Welcome and Red-rumped Swallows and Collared Sand Martin.
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Old Wednesday 19th September 2007, 10:29   #9
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Frequency of Hybrids

Hybrid Swallow x Sand Martin is likely to occur more frequently in the geographical extremities of the range of one or both species, where the available local pool of mates is lower than nearer to the centre of the breeding range, making mating with other, similar species more likely. So this is more likely to happen in Finland (near to northern extreme of range) than in the UK (with a higher density of individuals).
Other examples might be:
Blyth's Reed Warbler x Marsh Warbler in western edge of the former's range
Spotted Sandpiper (stranded in Europe after crossing the Atlantic) x Common Sandpiper
Collared Flycatcher x Pied Flycatcher
No doubt members of this forum can think of other examples.
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Old Wednesday 19th September 2007, 15:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggregory71 View Post
This post is intended for general interest.
The attached photographs are of a hybrid Swallow x House Martin caught and ringed at the Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire, hirundine roost two nights ago.
It was aged as a juvenile mainly because of the yellow gape flange. It had a juvenile Swallow-like upper head but only a 'ghost' of a breast band. The undertail coverts were pinky-buff. The rump was off-white tinged pink-buff. The tail was deeply notched but had no mirrors. The upper body and head had some blue.
On a brief view it might be confused with a Red-rumped Swallow, but on a longer view it would show the following differences: tail notched (forked in Red-rumped Swallow), undertail coverts pale (very dark in RrS), no collar effect (present in RrS), 'ghost' breast band (absent in RrS).
A similar bird was seen at Gibraltar Point last year. Apparently there are several others around the UK at present and at least four others have been trapped at other hirundine roosts recently.
these certainly do seem to be about in some numbers this year. We caught one on the Isle of Wight on 9th Sept. Like yours we aged it as juvenile. We have a good set of pictures almost identical to yours, with pale (not white) red-streaked rump, a dark gorgette under the chin and pale under-tail coverts. At first glance we hoped red-rumped (it's many years since I saw them in the hand) but a little research shows clearly that our bird was a hybrid, with apparently more swallow than house martin in the mix.
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Old Wednesday 19th September 2007, 17:10   #11
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Hello Moorhen1, welcome to BirdForum. Hope you will enjoy the threads and the posts, many of which, like this one, are very educational.
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