Swallows, martins

Hirundinidae

Taxonomy Version: IOC 10.2
family
Taxonomy Ranking
Level Rank Scientific Name

Swallows and martins are distinctive, familiar birds with long wings, short, broad bills and a streamlined shape that aids their specialised feeding technique of catching insects on the wing. Long-tailed species are generally termed "swallows" and short-tailed species "martins", though the distinction is unscientific and not 100% applicable. Species occur on all continents except Antarctica. They tend to nest either in cavities (excavated or existing), or in distinctive nests built mainly of mud, sometimes on buildings. Most hirundines in temperate areas are summer visitors, migrating to warmer areas for the non-breeding season.

  • Red-rumped Swallow - Norfolk © Stephen

  • Red-rumped Swallow - Norfolk © Stephen

  • Red-rumped Swallow - Britain © Steven Stansfield

  • Red-rumped Swallow - Britain © Steven Stansfield

  • Red-breasted Swallow - Denmark © Thomas W Johansen

  • Red-breasted Swallow - Denmark © Thomas W Johansen

Select Genus
Scientific Name English Name Rank Rarity (UK) Image
British & Irish Records Archive

All Records (Accepted, Rejected, Pending). To filter/search please enter a phrase. E.g. To filter Rejected records, type Rejected into the Search box, all columns can be filtered.

British & Irish Records Archive is only available to our BirdGuides Ultimate or our BirdGuides Pro subscribers.
Please login or subscribe to view this information.