Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The breeding ecology of the barn swallow Hirundo rustica gutturalis in South China

Pagani-Núñez, Emilio; He, Chao; Li, Biao; Li, Ming; He, Ruchuan; Jiang, Aiwu; Goodale, Eben


Chao He

Biao Li

Ming Li

Ruchuan He

Aiwu Jiang

Eben Goodale


Some animal species are found in many environments and over wide distributions and may have adaptations to live in such different areas. The barn swallow Hirundo rustica is an example of a species that is able to thrive over a large geographic range and in many different environments. However, little is known of the breeding biology of this species in southern China. Here, we studied 18 breeding pairs of barn swallow H. r. gutturalis in Nanning, Guangxi, between April and July 2015. We studied its breeding fitness and parental investment. We found that tropical barn swallows bred from early April to early July and had from two to five fledglings per brood. We also recorded a strong seasonal decrease of breeding success and nestling condition that has also been found in temperate regions. Nevertheless, nestlings showed relatively long wings and low body masses, which may have enabled three sets of parents to raise three broods per breeding season, more than in other Chinese populations. Generally, barn swallows breeding in the tropics showed a similar ecology to their conspecifics from temperate regions, probably due to the species’ niche specificity in urban settings. Morphological differences detected in this study require further research based on larger sample sizes and on more detailed data from different climatic regions of Asia.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 10, 2016
Publication Date 2016-05
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2022
Journal Journal of Tropical Ecology
Print ISSN 0266-4674
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 260-263
Keywords China, comparative study, Hirundinidae, South-East Asia, tropical ecology, urban ecology
Public URL