Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Montane Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) - HBW 9, p. 670

French: Hirondelle bleue German: Stahlschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina Azul
Other common names: (Eastern) Blue Swallow

Taxonomy: Hirundo atrocaerulea Sundevall, 1850, Natal, South Africa.
Has been placed in a separate genus Natalornis on basis of sexual dimorphism, distinctive plumage (without rufous, no white in tail), nest structure and egg coloration; within present genus, however, these features (apart from nest structure) are variable, suggesting that separate genus not warranted. Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with H. nigrorufa, but morphological differences probably too great to justify such a treatment. N population, with plumage washed violet, sometimes separated as race lynesi, but differences insignificant. Monotypic.

Distribution: Breeds SE DRCongo, S Tanzania, Malawi, NE Zambia, E Zimbabwe and adjacent W Mozambique, E South Africa (Eastern province and KwaZulu-Natal) and W Swaziland; migrates N to NE DRCongo, S Uganda and extreme W Kenya.