THE INDIAN CRESTED SWIFT
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|THE INDIAN CRESTED SWIFT |
Hemiprocne coronata (Tickell)
Length, 9 inches. Male : Crest dark ashy-blue ; upper plumage dull ashy-blue, including the innermost flight-feathers ; remainder of wings and tail black, glossed with greenish-blue ; a velvet-black patch in front of the eye with a very narrow white line above it; a streak below the beak and a large patch behind and below the eye chestnut; chin paler chestnut; lower plumage ashy-grey becoming white under the tail.
Female : Similar to the male but the chestnut streak below the beak is replaced by white and the chestnut patch behind the eye by the colour of the upper parts ; chin ashy-grey.
Iris dark brown; bill black ; legs pinkish-brown.
Bill short with a very wide gape ; a distinct crest on the forehead ; wings and tail long, the latter deeply forked; a patch of silky down feathers on each flank.
An ashy-grey bird with wings and tail glossy blackish. The male has a bright chestnut patch on the ear. Resembles a Swallow rather than a Swift with its long pointed wings and deeply forked tail. Found in parties hawking insects and settling on trees. A loud call.
Confined to India, Ceylon, Assam, Burma and Siam. No races. In India it is found locally throughout the whole country from the sub-Himalayan area southwards, except in the Punjab, Sind and parts of Rajputana. A resident species which occurs at all elevations up to 4000 feet and possibly higher.
The Crested Swift is a bird of forests and well-wooded country where it is found in small parties and sometimes even in flocks that hawk about for insects with a wheeling graceful flight which in character and pace recalls that of a Swallow rather than a Swift. It constantly perches in trees, usually preferring the topmost branches and those which are dead or bare of leaves. It sits upright and erects the crest. The call is loud and Parrot-like, tee-chee, and this is uttered frequently, both on the wing and from a branch, whilst the bird is particularly noisy in the evenings when preparing to roost. Should there be a tank or pool of water or river near its haunts this Swift is fond of descending rapidly from the air to the surface of the water, touching it and mounting again in one graceful curve.
The breeding season in India is from March to June.
The nest is a most remarkable structure. It is a very shallow half-saucer, composed of thin flakes of bark and a few small feathers gummed together with inspissated saliva on the side of a horizontal branch. The nest is nowhere more than an eighth of an inch in thickness, and is at most half an inch deep in the deepest part. The largest outside measurement is 2 inches, which is to say that the nest can be covered by a crown-piece. The branch chosen is usually a dead one often at the top of a high tree, but many nests are built much lower on small trees growing in open scrub-jungle. Viewed from below the nest has all the appearance of a knot and would seldom be detected were it not for the fact that the female returns at frequent intervals to it. The single egg completely fills the nest. The parent bird sits across the nest and the branch to which it is attached so that the latter takes her weight.
The egg is a very elongated oval, obtuse at both ends and with little or no gloss. It is white with a slight greyish-blue tinge.
It measures about 0.94 by o.61 inches.
CeltickRanger, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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Beautiful environmental photo of these birds,
in the very cold days here in Canada we see
scenery like this one with the starlings being
at the sun, beautiful light on your photo, TFS
- [2013-02-13 18:36]
What an interesting shot, looks like every available branch has been claimed as a perch. I would imagine they could wreak havoc on the insect population in very short time.
I really like the overall composition and clarity in this fine presentation. I would like to see a close-up some time of one of these beautiful little birds if the opportunity comes along for you. Great job!!
I like this composition for the sheer artistic shape of this barren tree in Jim Corbett Park.
The birds on it are too small for their own identity but they do add to the appeal of this fine image.