New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

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.