More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Welcome Swallow

Scientific name:

 Hirundo tahitica neoxena

 

 

Conservation status:

 Native. Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common

Size:

 15cm, 14g

Lifespan:

 Unknown

Breeding:

 August - March

Diet:

 Invertebrates

Welcome swallows were first recorded as breeding in New Zealand in 1958, having self-introduced from Australia. They are now common in open country especially near water in lowland New Zealand, except in Otago and Southland, where they are still uncommon.

The head and back is blue-black and the forehead, throat and chest is rufous. The underparts are dull white and the deeply forked tail has a row of white spots near the tip. The song is a series of twitters, trills and cheeps.

Breeding takes place between August and March. Both birds build the half-cup nest of mud and grass, lined with dry grass, rootlets, hair, wool and a layer of feathers. The nest is placed on a ledge or attached to a rough vertical surface, often under bridges, culverts, eaves of houses, in sheds, caves, on rock outcrops or under overhanging banks. The clutch of 2–7 pale pink eggs, variably flecked reddish brown, is incubated by the female for 15–19 days. Both parents feed the chicks, which fledge at 18–23 days old. The young return to the nest to roost and continue to be fed for around 3 weeks.

Welcome swallows eat invertebrates, caught on the wing; mainly flies, including midges and blowflies, small beetles and moths.

Welcome swallows breed on Tiritiri Matangi and are often seen hawking for insects over the open grassy areas, and over the ponds.

Learn more about the welcome swallow at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by:  Dr Kerry Rodgers ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.