Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Nepal House Martin (Delichon nipalense)


French: Hirondelle du Népal German: Nepalschwalbe Spanish: Avión nepalí

Delichon nipalensis

F. Moore

, 1854,



Plumage variation somewhat clinal, amount of black on throat increasing from W to E. Birds from Mizoram region of NE India sometimes separated as race bartletti#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. n. nipalense F. Moore, 1854 – Himalayas from Uttarakhand, Nepal and adjacent Tibetan Plateau E to W Myanmar.
  • D. n. cuttingi Mayr, 1941 – NE Myanmar, S China (Yunnan), N Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12·5 cm; 14–16 g. Male has glossy blue crown and back, blue on side of head extending well below eye; rump white, uppertail-coverts white with... read more


    Not very vocal; high-pitched “chi-i” recorded in flight.


    Valleys and mountain ridges, open areas with cliffs; also around villages. Breeds to at least 3500... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes flies (Diptera). Feeds in flocks, sometimes with other hirundines and swifts (Apodidae), and often high up; flight a mix of... read more


    Generally Mar/Apr–Sept, varying locally; may be double-brooded. Colonial, in groups of tens or hundreds of pairs, often 25–50,... read more


    Resident; sometimes moves short distances, especially to lower altitudes, after end of breeding.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Nominate race common to fairly common; widespread and fairly common in Nepal, locally fairly common in India, common in Bhutan. In E of range (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, A. (2020). Nepal House Martin (Delichon nipalense). 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 24 February 2020).