Barn Swallow

Scientific Name: Hirundo rustica

Malay Name: Layang-layang Hijrah

Chinese Name: 家燕

Range: Breeding Range: (Worldwide) widespread

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: rustica, transitiva, savignii, gutturalis, tytleri, saturata, mandschurica, erythrogaster.

Local Subspecies: mandschurica, gutturalis, saturata

Size: 15 cm

Identification: Forehead rufous chestnut, upperparts steel blue, pale or rufous underparts, variable depending on subspecies. Told apart from Pacific Swallow by presence of steel-blue breastband. Told apart from sand martin by more deeply forked tail.

Similar looking species: Sand Martin, Pacific Swallow, Asian House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Siberian House Martin

Habitat: Widespread.

Behaviour/Ecology: Told apart from other airborne birds by flying by sweeping wings backwards.

Local Status: Very common migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Widespread.

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Oct 01-Oct 07
Early date 02 Jul 2022
Late date 28 Jun 2023
One of the earliest migrant species to arrive in Singapore, but the largest numbers are observed during the raptor migration in October and November as they pass through the island on their southward passage.


BirdLife International. (2019). Hirundo rustica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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