The golden swallow is a passerine in the swallow family, Hirundinidae. Two subspecies are recognised, the extinct Jamaican golden swallow and T. e. sclateri of Hispaniola. It usually inhabits the hills on the interior of islands, preferring open country.
About Golden swallow in brief
The golden swallow is a passerine in the swallow family, Hirundinidae. Two subspecies are recognised, the extinct Jamaican golden swallow and T. e. sclateri of Hispaniola. It usually inhabits the hills on the interior of islands, preferring open country. Currently, this swallow is restricted to isolated montane forests that primarily consist of the Hispaniolan pine. This species is considered to be a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The nominate subspecies, T. e. euchrysea, is extinct. The exact cause of extinction is unknown, but likely factors include predation by introduced mammals and habitat loss. It is an aerial insectivore, foraging for insects at heights that are usually under 20 m, and very rarely at heights over 30 m. In Hispaniola, it breeds from April to July, where it lays a clutch consisting of two to four white eggs. It formerly bred from June to July in Jamaica. It also nests in caves, under the eaves of houses, in burned stands, and in nest boxes.
A small swallow, the golden swallow measures, on average, 12cm. The adult of the nominate sub species’ upperparts, including the sides of the head, is a coppery-bronze colour. This contrasts with the golden or coppary-green upperparts of the subspecies’ lowerparts. The female is similar, but with its breast, and occasionally throat and undertail-coverts, being mottled grey-brown. This swallow, along with the violet-green swallow and Bahama, comprise a clade of the Tachycineta subgenus, Tgenus Tachineta, in addition to the violet swallow and the Bahama swallow. This is also considered to to be the subgenu Tachineus, which also includes the blue-green and violet swallow, and the black swallow, which is also in the clade Tatchineus. The golden swallow was first described as Hirundo euchysea by English naturalist Henry Gosse, in his 1847 book The Birds of Jamaica, many years after European settlement of the island. It was finally described as Hirundo sClateri in 1884 by American ornithologist Charles Cory.