- Hirundo smithii
14cm 14–21 cm (5½-8¼ in)
- Bright blue upperparts
- Flight feathers are darker
- White underparts
- Chestnut crown
- Blue mask through the eye
- White spots on the tail
- Outer tail feather are very long filaments
- At least in Africa, the dark band across the vent area is important for identification
Sexes are similar, but the female has shorter "wires"
Juveniles have a brown crown, back and tail.
Two distinct populartions Africa (smithii) and Asia (filifera):
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland
Asia: Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Eastern and Western Himalayas, Bangladesh, Bhutan
Southeast Asia: Indochina, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand
There are 2 subspecies:
- H. s. smithii:
- Widespread Africa south of the Sahara
- H. s. filifera:
Open country near water and human habitation, Marula savannah, open woodland, bushveld, rice fields, marshland
The diet consists mainly of flying insects.
The 3 or four eggs are laid in a half-bowl nest lined with mud. It is fixed to the vertical surfaces of bridges and buildings or under cliff ledges.
Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, June-2017
A mixed group of Juvies and adult calling. They were hawking insects over a canal and calling. Background calls by Red-wattled Lapwing and Rose-ringed Parakeet are heard.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Sinclair et al. 2002. Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton Field Guides, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-09682-1
- BF Member observations
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Wire-tailed Swallow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 28 July 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Wire-tailed_Swallow