Pacific Swallow – calls

posted in: birds, Vocalisation | 0

I was watching a pair of Pacific Swallows (Hirundo tahitica javanica) that I know fairly well. They were hawking insects, using a stationary ceiling fan as a vantage position, and calling out intermittently. Most calls were soft ‘wep’ or ‘kwek’ (Wells 2007) that needed a good mike to pick up. I decided to try a closer approach for images and one bird gave out a ‘steam-whistle’ call (Wells 2007) and they flew off. This call appeared to be a warning call. I tested this when they returned shortly and played it back; they immediately flew off. Wells says this ‘steam-whistle’ call is used to signal the presence of a predator near nest. A recording of calls is found here:

The first few calls are contact calls (soft ‘wep’ or ‘kwek’ (above) and the recording ends with a ‘steam-whistle’ call (below).

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Urban environment

Date: 23rd January 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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