Mystery Bird: Lesser Striped Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica

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[Mystery bird] Lesser Striped Swallow, sometimes also known as the Striped Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica, photographed in the Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: Dan Logen, February 2010 [larger view].

Nikon D300s, 600 mm lens with 1.4 extender, ISO 500, f/7.1 1/640 sec. Exp compensation +1.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

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Trying the "sweet" approach today... gotta go straight to the family Hirundinidae, 21 species in which are to be found in Tanzania... a quick little check and we really only have to decide between one "greater" or "lesser", the former with an orange rump and chestnut crown and nape, the latter described as "heavier" with rump and head a deeper red...

given the nuances of photography, a little finer detail is necessary to determine that the former's streaking is usually only discernible at close range (our subject has relatively bold streaking) but perhaps the most obvious distinction is that on the former, the ear coverts are white and on the latter, the entire head is orangey-red... a confirming mark is that on the "greater" there is no color on the vent, but as we can see above, the "lesser" has the same color as on it's rump...

specifically, a "hood" is simply not enough and therefore as known at the time by Gueren-Meneville, our subject was named after the territory slighted by the longest ruling British monarch

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 06 Feb 2010 #permalink

Do we know its air speed velocity (unladen)?

The only time the air speed was measured the bird was seen to be carrying a coconut (by the husk).
David, A good summary of the possibilities, I'm going out now so I'll be seein' ya. (poor pun, I know)

My abject apologies, my execrable attempt at a pun appears to have broken the thread.