domingo, 29 de mayo de 2016

Presumed Barn Swallow x House Martin hybrid at Algar river, Alacant, April 2016

On 30 April 2016 a presumed hybrid Barn Swallow (Hirundo rústica) x House Martin (Delichon urbicum) was trapped and ringed at Algar river, Altea, Alacant (Toni Zaragozí, Gaspar Gosálbez). 

The bird, showing intermediate characters between both hirundines, had the following measurements:

  • Wing (màximum chord): 111 mm
  • P3: 84 mm
  • Weight: 15 gr
  • Fat score: 0
  • Age : Euring 4


The bird presented a whitish,albeit spotted, rump and, to be an adult or nearly so, the typical throat patch of Hirundo rustica was rather dull. The tail was also short despite wingspan was closer to Hirundo than to Delichon.

Hybrids between both species have been described. McCarthy (2006) Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, reports the existance of hybrids widely reported from Russia and Scandinavia to Zambia. Hybridization might occur over the entire broad region of sympatry but at low levels (less than 1% of general population is hybrid).  There are a number of examples of such hybridization online:

Indeed any search though the net will provide more results of presumed hybrids matching most of the characters of this bird as well which however seemed closer to Hirundo than to Delichon

Thanks to Elias Gomis for providing the information to the blog and to the authors for their interest in getting the record published.

Zaragozí, T. & Gosálbez, G. 2016 Presumed Barn Swallow x  House Martin hybrid at Algars, Alacant, April 2016. Birds in Spain blog.


1 comentario:

Giles dijo...

I have trapped and ringed two presumed hybrid Barn Swallow x House Martin: one at Radipole Lake, Dorset (UK) in September 1976 and another at Barrow Haven, Lincolnshire (UK) in October 1981. I do have photographs of the Lincolnshire bird, which I will try to find and share.