Swallow (Welcome) Hirundo neoxena
Species: Hirundo tahitica
Sub Species: neoxena
Scientific name: Hirundo neoxena
Common names: Welcome Swallow,house swallow, pacific swallow
Welcome swallows (Hirundo neoxena) are a new addition to New Zealand’s native fauna. Known only as occasional vagrants before the 1950s, they were first noticed breeding near Kaitaia, Northland, in 1958. Since then they have spread throughout the mainland, except for the central South Island mountains. They are small, slender birds with finely pointed wings and distinctive forked tails .Welcome swallows eat invertebrates, caught on the wing. Mainly flies, including midges and blowflies, small beetles and moths.
Welcome swallow's distinctive mud nests are built under a roof or overhang, walls of caves, outhouses, barns or under bridges and jetties. The nest resembles an igloo and is made of beakfuls of mud strengthened with dry grass stalks. Starting from the base, the birds build out in curved tiers, creating a cup, which they then line with grass, rootlets, wool and feathers.
A swallow's cup nest made from mud pellets. This nest was removed from a barn's rafters.
Looking at the inside of the nest which is lined with straw and feathers.
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