Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosterna)


Taxonomy

French: Hirondelle à dos blanc German: Weißrückenschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina dorsiblanca
Taxonomy:

Hirundo leucosternus

Gould

, 1841,

Naomi River, New South Wales, Australia

.

Proposed races marngli (Fitzroy R, in N Western Australia) and stonei (Warialda, in New South Wales) undiagnosable. Species name often spelt leucosternum or leucosternus, but is a latinized Greek adjective and must agree with gender of genus, in this case feminine#R. Monotypic.

Distribution:

W, C, S & E Australia.

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 12–16 g. Pied coloration distinctive. Has forehead, outer crown, mantle, chin, throat, upper breast and under­wing-coverts white; centre of crown and band... read more

Voice

Song is a twittering; also a harsh “check” uttered in flight.

Habitat

Open country, usually near water, such as rivers with sandy banks.

Food and feeding

Diet includes beetles (Coleoptera), mirid bugs (Hemiptera), nemato­ceran flies, Lepidoptera, hymenopterans (including ants and... read more

Breeding

Jul/Aug–Dec, after rains in arid regions; single-brooded. Solitary, or in groups of up to 80 pairs. Excavates own burrow in sandy... read more

Movements

Generally resident; some post-breeding movements, e.g. deserts breeding sites in S Murray-Darling... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common, depending on presence of breeding sites. Has extended its range over the last century to coast of SE Queensland and New South Wales... read more