Tsubame: Hirundo rustica

Everybody can see some very pretty birds at the beginning of spring in Japan . These birds are swallow . Scientific name of swallow is Hirundo rustica . The common Japanese name for this species is Tsubame and the old Japanese call it “ Tsubakuro ” or “Tsubakurame”. The swallow proves useful to farmers because the swallow eats harmful insects . It is said that “If the swallow flies lower , it rains.” The swallow are about eighty types in the world . Swallow are five types in Japan .

Swallows are distributed the northern hemisphere. Swallows come to Japan in early spring , and these comes from Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia in the winter. Those swallows pass the winter in Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia . But some swallows pass the winter in Japan . Those swallows pass the winter from the center of Japan to Western Japan . The swallow is summer bird.

The Swallow has a total length of about 17 centimeters. The back is Indigo black. The throat and forehead are red . The abdomen is white . The swallow has big wings and a long tail. The swallow flies at an air speed of about 60 kilometers per hour and moreover , it is flying very well but The swallow doesn’t get down the ground much . Because the swallow has short leg so it can’t walk well. The Swallow eats insects . While the swallow is flying , the swallow drinks water . The average life expectancy of swallow is 18 months because chick’s death rate is high , but the primary life is 7 years .

Swallow’s nest is made from the dead grass , mud and saliva . For example swallows make a nest under the eaves because they protect theirself from the crow . Swallows lay about 5 eggs at a time , but the death rate of their chicks is about 65 percent and so almost all chicks can’t become adult birds . It takes the swallow three weeks to leave the nest . The swallow makes a roost in the flood plain along a river or the reed field of the irrigation pond . We see a mass of swallows there . The number of swallows in the roost is several thousand .

We can see swallows in Kochi . We can see the nest of the swallow in the ceiling of the car park . Many swallows are flying everywhere in Kochi . If you can find the time , could you look at the sky ? You may see the swallow .

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Bio2010

Students of Kochi National University English for Biology class, 2010

One thought on “Tsubame: Hirundo rustica”

  1. Swallow is very cute.I knew a lot of things to read this article.I am sad that the death rate of their chicks is about 65 percent and so almost all chicks can’t become adult birds. I want to protect when I found it’s nest.

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