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The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is of the family Hirundinae which is in the genus Hirundo . It is a summer resident which breeds in the Northern Hemisphere. There are small sedentary populations in some of the tropical parts of this range but during the summer it is mainly absent from the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia. This common and widespread insectivorous species feeds exclusively on small flies and midges.
In late autumn with the onset of colder weather, when its prey items begin to diminish, it migrates south to its wintering areas. The North American population winters in Central and South America. The Eurasian population winters in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian sub-continent, South East Asia and parts of Northern Australia. In early spring the return migration north begins. At least races are recognised.
There are 74 species of hirundines which includes Swallows and Martins. In additional, the only known record of the Red Sea Cliff Swallow (Hirundo perdita) was of one found dead at Sanganeb Lighthouse, Sudan in May 1984.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds