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Swallows and Martins

(Family Hirudinidae)

Of Australia’s seven recorded species, only the White-backed Swallow Cheramoeca leucosterna is endemic. Other breeding species are the Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena, the Fairy Martin Petrochelidon ariel and Tree Martin P. nigricans. The Barn Swallow H. rustica is a non-breeding migrant, while the Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus and Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica are both vagrants. All are aerial-feeding species with long, pointed wings and short, wide beak, bordered by rictal bristles to enable maximum efficiency when feeding on airborne insects.

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