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16â€“17 cm (6Â¼-6Â¾ in)
Warm buff underparts that vary geographically from plain to quite strongly streaked (especially in northern China). Dark, glossy-blue upperparts, noticeably interrupted by chestnut nape and pale rufous rump. Black vent and undertail coverts is a prominent feature in Europe but is much reduced in birds from e.g., India.
Lacks the dark red face and breast band with sharp contrast to pale belly of Barn Swallow but instead has more black on the rear (vent is pale in Barn Swallow). Looks more thickset in flight which also gives impression of being slower. In area of overlap, Striated Swallow must also be considered.