- Hirundo tahitica
13-14cm (5-5½ in)
- Blue back
- Brown wings and tail
- Red face and throat
- Dusky underparts
Sexes similar. Juveniles are browner.
Similar to Barn Swallow and Welcome Swallow but is shorter and the tail is less forked. Especially compared to Barn Swallow, the lack of dark blue breast band and the presence of dusky flanks are useful (although east Asian Barn Swallow has less extensive breast band than some other subspecies).
Hill Swallow is sometimes included in this species.
There are 7 subspecies:
- H. t. javanica (abbotti, mallopega):
- H. t. namiyei:
- Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan
- H. t. frontalis:
- North and western New Guinea
- H. t. albescens:
- South and eastern New Guinea
- H. t. ambiens:
- New Britain (Bismarck Archipelago)
- H. t. subfusca:
- H. t. tahitica:
- Society Islands (Moorea and Tahiti)
Coastal cliffs, but is increasingly spreading to forested uplands.
Their diet consists mostly of insects, such as beetles, ants and termites but especially flies, which are caught in flight.
Their nests are constructed from mud and pellets combined with dry grasses on vertical surfaces with overhangs. The clutch contains 3 white eggs with brown spots.
Call: high pitched tweet in alarm; otherwise a cheerful twittering.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Birdforum discussion of id features including this species.
- del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). House Swallow (Hirundo javanica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/1343899 on 31 October 2019).
- Gregory, P. (2017) Birds of New Guinea, Including Bismarck Archipelago and Boughainville. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Schodde, R. & Mason, I.J. (1999) The Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines. CSIRO Publishing
- Turner, A. & Rose, C. (1989) Swallows & Martins, An Identification Guide and Handbook. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Pacific Swallow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 21 June 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Pacific_Swallow