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Birds of Yosemite National Park (1954, 1963) by Cyril A. Stebbins and Robert C. Stebbins


SWALLOWS: Family Hirundinidae

ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW
ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW
ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopterye ruficollis): 5 - 5 3/4 in. Upper parts brown; chin, throat, and breast grayish-brown; belly and under tail coverts white; no iridescent colors. Nests in crevices or holes in bank, often those dug by rodents or kingfishers.

Frequents low earthen banks along slowly flowing streams or even along dry gullies. Breeds chiefly in the Lower and Upper Sonoran life zones. Of local occurrence as S. V. in the lower, western part of the Yosemite region. Occasional in Yosemite Valley.


CLIFF SWALLOW
CLIFF SWALLOW
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota): 5-6 in. Forehead creamy white; crown and back blue-black; nape gray; wings and tail dark brown; throat and side of head reddish-brown; spot of blue on throat; rump pale rust or tan; tail tip nearly straight; belly light gray. The light under parts and forehead and the tan rump aid in identifying the bird in flight. Often produces a grating noise in flight. Nest gourd-shaped, composed of mud pellets, often attached to a niche in a cliff or beneath the eaves of a building. Of San Juan Capistrano fame.

Attracted to cliffs, high banks, and the walls of buildings, usually not far from a source of mud for nest building and quiet water for drinking. Nests chiefly from the Lower Sonoran to the Transition life zone. S. V. to the western part of the Yosemite region. Has been observed in the Hetch Hetchy area.

TREE SWALLOW (Iridoprocne bicolor): 5-6 in. Above bluish tinged with green, or black with steel-blue iridescence; below white. Nests in abandoned woodpecker holes in trees near water.

Frequents streams, sloughs, ponds, lakes, and wet meadows where it forages chiefly above water. Breeds chiefly in the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones. C. V. to lower elevations in the Yosemite region. Has nested in Yosemite Valley.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW
VIOLET - GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina): 5 1/2 in. Above greenish with purplish cast; top of head dark brownish-green with bronze tinge; wings and tail dusky; rump purplish tending to blue-green over tail; below white; sides of head white; sides of rump white, showing plainly in flight.

Frequents the vicinity of cliffs and rocky canyon walls and broken woods and forest margins. Breeds chiefly in the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones. S. V. in the Yosemite region in the zones mentioned; most common swallow in Yosemite Valley.



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