(noun) The scientific family of birds that includes all worldwide swallows and martins. Swifts, though similar, are not part of the Hirundinidae family but are instead in the family Apodidae. There are roughly 80 species of birds that are included in the Hirundinidae classification.
While swallows and martins are found worldwide, except Antarctica, the greatest diversity of Hirundinidae species is found in Africa.
Depending on the exact species, these birds can be found in a wide range of habitats, including near lakes, rivers and other waterways as well as in swamps, grasslands, scrubland, and even urban and suburban regions.
While there is a good deal of diversity among Hirundinidae birds, there are several characteristics shared by this bird family, including:
- Slender body shape with long, pointed wings
- Acrobatic flight abilities
- Mostly monomorphic plumages, often with countershaded colorations
- Typically insectivorous diets, eating and drinking while in flight
- Altricial chicks
Familiar species in the Hirundinidae family include the barn swallow, purple martin, tree swallow, sand martin and forest swallow.
Photo – Wire-Tailed Swallow © Chris Eason
HE-ruhn-dihn-ih-deye or HI-ruhn-dihn-ih-day
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