Upper parts, and a transverse bar on the breast, bluish black; forehead and throat chestnut-red.
H. rustica, Temm. Man. dOrn. torn. I. p. 427. Id. torn. III. p. 297. Chimney Swallow, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 120. pl. 42. f. 1. Swallow, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 287.
Entire length seven inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) three lines and a half, (from the gape) eight lines; of the tarsus five lines; of the tail four inches; the same, excluding the long lateral feathers, two inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing four inches eleven lines: breadth, wings extended, thirteen inches four lines.
Forehead and throat chestnut-red: all the upper parts, sides of the neck, and a broad transverse bar on the breast, black, with purple and blue reflections: belly and vent reddish white: tail long, and very much forked; the two middle feathers plain; the rest with a large white spot on the inner web: bill and feet black. The female has less red on the forehead, and less black on the breast: the under parts are also whiter, and the outer tail-feathers not so long as in the male bird. In young birds, the long tail-feathers do not appear till after the first moult. White varieties are sometimes met with. (Egg). White, spotted and speckled with ash-colour and dark red-brown: long. diam. nine lines and a half; trans, diam. six lines and a half.
A summer visitant, making its first appearance about the second or third week in April, and staying till towards the middle or end of October. Feeds entirely on insects, taken on the wing. Builds generally in chimnies: nest formed of mud plastered together, and lined with feathers. Eggs four or five in number: two broods in the season. Previous to migration, congregates in large flocks.