Eurasian Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne rupestris


  • Ptyonoprogne : Greek word ptuon- fan ;  progne – Swallow
  • Rupestris : Latin word fro Rock dwelling

 Vernacular name : Guj: Pardeshi gar ababil, Moti abali, Mar: Kada Pankoli

Distribution : Resident & Breeds in Himalayas, Winters in Western Ghats

 Description : It has a size of 14–15 cm; wt. of 17–33 g. It has a brown-grey crown and upperparts, dark brown wings and tail. The tail is square, white spots on inner webs of feathers . The chin and throat are pale with dark speckling, pale buff breast grading into brown-grey belly and brown undertail-coverts; underwing-coverts are blackish. .Both the Sexes are alike. The juvenile has buffy feather edges, throat less dark than adult’s and with indistinct mottling.

 Habitat: It is found in Mountains, crags and coastal cliffs; also around human habitations.It is found from sea-level to 4500 m . It forages close to cliff faces and over gorges, woodland and villages. In non-breeding season  forages  over farmland, meadows, rocky coasts, swamps and lakes.

Food habits: It eats  flies, stoneflies, caddis flies, beetles, bugs , butterflies and moths, hymenopterans  and spiders. It feeds in pairs or small groups. Its flight is slow, with frequent steady gliding. It flies back and forth along cliff face in sunny weather; at other times feeds over adjacent land; often flies below level of local dominant land surface, but also ascends high in thermals. Takes insects from rocks, and catches those disturbed as it flies past rock face.

Breeding habits: They breed in  May–Aug. They have two broods. The nest is solitary and they are aggressive to intruders. They defends area of 200–300 m2. The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is an open half-cup made of mud pellets, lined with grass and feathers. The female continues to add lining during incubation; placed in crevice or under overhang on cliff face, also on bridge, or on or in building such as house, hotel, hill fort, castle or church. The nests are reused in same and successive seasons. They lay a clutch of 2–5 eggs, . The incubation starts from final egg. The incubation is done by female. The incubation period is 13–17 days. The hatching of eggs is synchronous. The chicks are brooded closely for first few days, mostly by female, The chicks are fed by both sexes. The nestling period is 24–27 days.