To: 'shorty' <>
Subject: Swallow
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2017 11:51:49 +0000

Ah yes a conclusion.......... I don’t have one.


But just a hint of an unusual pattern, does not make a member of one species into another. The answer is likely far more simple. As for Shorty’s photo, yes it is likely dark bases to the feathers, being exposed, due to the wind and maybe some moult, rather than dark feathers as such. I don’t know if the feather bases are black, I think in most birds they are black, grey or white, with typically the colour part of the body feathers only being on approximately the outer half.


Yes I admit that having seen a few Pacific Swallows & Barn Swallows in Asia (though my experience is very limited), maybe my comment is far more fitting to Welcome Swallows and Pacific Swallows, as they are virtually identical, as far as I could tell. I forgot about that.........



From: shorty [
Sent: Sunday, 9 April, 2017 6:38 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Swallow


I have no idea what your conclusion is?





On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 6:28 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Yes I had also thought that from Geoffrey’s picture : “A welcome perch” 5 April (the bird second from top right). I would not think any need to invoke the idea of being young birds. I have often wondered whatever is the basis for classifying Welcome Swallows and Barn Swallows as different species. There is a difference of a black neck band and whiter belly, a very trivial difference. (Anything else?).

This one doesn’t have a white belly. That an occasional WS might show a bit of characteristic of the BS is curious but surely they are so closely related a bit of black extension is not so drastic. ......


I’m pretty sure that’s just the darker feathers beneath the outer plumage, as ruffled by the wind.


Barn swallows when seen in the flesh are very distinct from Welcome Swallows (and this sadly is definitely not one, it’s definitely Welcome). Some races look somewhat similar at a glance, but others are completely different. Pacific Swallows, on the other hand…




From: shorty [
Sent: Sunday, 9 April, 2017 3:59 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Swallow


G'day all,


I was down at the wetlands this afternoon photographing Welcome Swallows and came across 2 birds that had the start of a black band around their neck. Looking through my guide, even though we are well out of range, i started thinking maybe they are young Barn Swallows. I am sure i will be wrong but thought i would check with you more experienced birders to enlighten me.


More pics on my FlickR





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