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Wire-tailed Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-09-11 6:24
Viewed: 1472
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii filifera) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. Swallows are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to other aerial insectivores, such as the related martins and the unrelated swifts (order Apodiformes).

Wire-tailed Swallow breeds in Africa south of the Sahara and in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to southeast Asia. It is mainly resident, but populations in Pakistan and northern India migrate further south in winter.

This species is an uncommon vagrant to Sri Lanka.

This bird is found in open country near water and human habitation. Wire-tailed Swallows are fast flyers and they generally feed on insects, especially flies, while airborne. They are typically seen low over water, with which they are more closely associated than most swallows.

The neat half-bowl nests are lined with mud collected in the swallows' beaks. They are placed on vertical surfaces near water under cliff ledges or more commonly on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges.

The clutch is three to four eggs in Africa, up to five in Asia (Turner and Rose). These birds are solitary and territorial nesters, unlike many swallows, which tend to be colonial.

This striking species is a small swallow at 14 cm in length. It has bright blue upperparts, except for a chestnut crown and white spots on the tail. The underparts are white, with darker flight feathers. There is a blue mask through the eye.

This species gets its name from the very long filamentous outermost tail feathers, which trail behind like two wires. Sexes manifest similar appearances, but the female has shorter "wires". Juveniles have a brown crown, back and tail. The Asian form, H. s. filifera, is larger and longer-tailed than the abundant African H. s. smithii.

The scientific name of this bird is after Professor Chetien Smith, a Norwegian botanist, who was a member of the British expedition to the Congo River in 1816, led by James Kingston Tuckey.


samiran88, nagraj, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

You did a marvelous job with your Sigma70-300, Sir.
Very perfect highlight and shadow detail with very perfect colour.
My only objection about that electrical wire.
Personally I don't like any human made object in the nature photography.
I am sure you will be post a beautiful picture of this bird (Wire-tailed Swallow) perched on a tree twig and it will be very near future.
my request,
my regards.

Hello Ram,

Striking species in beautiful pose and lighting. The wire-tail on the wire perch is symbolic, significant appropriate. Fine focus and beautiful color. Well done.


Gorgeous Bird with a very appropriate name ;) Very unique and yes we are neighbors today.

Ciao Ram. Interesting POV here. Good details and management of light/white.


Hello Ram
Superb framing to this beautiful swallow.Great POV,wonderful colours and great details.Thank You.
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2013-09-11 12:12]

Beautiful bird, very nicely captured. The composition os lovely. The details and colors are very nice, as well.



Ciao Ram, lovely diagonal composition with nice bird, excellent clarity, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-09-11 14:34]

Hi Ram,perfect composition to see the long tail of this swallow,great diagonal whit fine details everywhere in an excellent exposure and imposing perspective.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Very interesting bird Ram! Great photo too! Excellent composition and wonderful colours. The sharpness is impressive!

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2013-09-12 5:56]

Wire-tailed on a wire, very apt. Beautiful species, so cute...most of the birds, swallows, bee-eaters like these wires as it gives them 360 degree viewpoint...their diet consists mainly insects which can be seen well, I think. Ofcourse, I too would like to see them on natural perch like Mr.Samiran.

Hello Ram

It is the first time I am viewing and reading
about this species of Swallow or I don't remember
have seen before, that very long filamentous
outermost tail feathers, which trail behind
like two wires are giving an special aspect
to this bird, excellent photo with beautiful light, TFS


  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2013-09-12 6:56]

Hello Ram,
nice swallow,nice capture,thanks..

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