Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans) - HBW 9, p. 683

French: Hirondelle des arbres German: Baumschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina Arborícola
Other common names: Australian Tree Martin

Taxonomy: Hirundo nigricans Vieillot, 1817, Hobart, Tasmania.
Genus often merged with Hirundo, but DNA studies support retention of separate taxa. Affinities of species not clear, as it differs from typical members of genus in e.g. nest structure and material. Until recently, W mainland population was placed in nominate race, but all those in Australia now thought to belong to race neglecta, differentiated from Tasmanian population. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • timoriensis Sharpe, 1885 - E Lesser Sundas (Timor, probably also Flores).
  • neglecta Mathews, 1912 - Australia (except N and dry C areas).
  • nigricans (Vieillot, 1817) - Tasmania; migrates N as far as New Guinea.