Hirundo pelagica Linnaeus, 1758, South Carolina, USA. Monotypic
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Martinet ramoneur; German: Schornsteinsegler; Spanish: Vencejo de Chimenea.
4.6–5.4 in (12–14 cm); 0.8–1.0 oz (21.5–28.0 g); average mass of 0.7–1.0 oz (20–23 g) during breeding season, and 0.9–1.0 oz (26–28 g) during pre-migration period. Sooty gray upperparts; dark gray-brown underparts with lighter throat.
Eastern North America west to Rocky Mountains; occasional breeder in California and southwest in recent years. Migrates through Central America to wintering grounds in Peru and northern Chile. Extralimital in Galapagos, West Indies, Bermuda, and British Isles.
Widespread occurring over open country, forested areas, and urban centers.
Makes dashing flights in small groups and rapid chippering vocalizations; nests in chimneys more often than in hollow trees. Helpers at nests of breeding pairs may be young pre-breeders or failed breeders.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
A wide variety of insects taken, including aerial insects and some spiders.
Nest of twigs glued together and to the wall of the hollow tree or chimney with salivary cement. Clutch is two to seven eggs, more typically four to five, laid between May and mid-July. Incubation takes 19–21 days and chicks fledge after an additional 28–30 days, although they may have vacated the crowded nest as much as a week earlier.
Although still common to abundant in most parts of its breeding range, population numbers appear to be declining, probably due to closure or screening of chimney nest sites in urban and suburban areas. Construction of artificial chimney-like structures as alternative nest sites is proving effective.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved