Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Eastern House Martin (Delichon lagopodum)


French: Hirondelle de Pallas German: Sibirienmehlschwalbe Spanish: Avión común oriental

Hirundo Lagopoda


, 1811,



Hitherto treated as conspecific with D. urbicum, but differs in its much broader white rump patch owing to white uppertail-coverts (2); much shallower tail fork, 1 cm vs 1.5–2 cm depth#R (at least 2); and parapatric distribution in Buryatia#R (3), with no evidence of interbreeding elsewhere in contact zone (published statements of intergradation at R Yenisey#R#R based on misreading of the original#R). Monotypic.


E Asia from middle and upper R Yenisey, Altai Mts and Mongolia E to Anadyrland, Sea of Okhotsk and NE China; probably winters mainly SE Asia.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm. Adult has very clean blue-black and white plumage, with sharply defined cap not extending to cheeks or chin; upperparts principally steel blue-black, often strongly... read more


Very similar to D. dasypus and D. urbicum: a steady, pleasant-sounding and... read more


Open areas, valleys, rocky hillsides and including towns and villages, where it nests; often in... read more

Food and feeding

No information on diet, beyond insects. Foraging behaviour not known to differ from D. urbicum.


Nesting ecology is not well known, but probably does not differ significantly from that of D. urbicum, constructing nests on... read more


Migratory. Forms flocks post-breeding. Main migration periods Sept–Oct and Apr–May. Probably... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Probably generally fairly common, although available information concerning abundance from much of its large breeding range is rather... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eastern House Martin (Delichon lagopodum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 February 2020).