Hybride Angleterre (Kent)


Swallow x House Martin hybrids in Kent 

These details have been extracted mainly from Kent Bird Reports, for the years stated. The main Kent avifaunas (Ticehurst 1909, Harrison 1953, Taylor, Davenport & Flegg 1981) do not appear to mention Swallow x House Martin hybrids.


[In the ringing report]

One of the most surprising catches of the year was that of a Swallow x House Martin hybrid by the Sandwich Bay team at a Swallow roost. The bird had intermediate measurements and faint orange throat and forehead; it had a white rump but called like a Swallow. Most hybrids show characters that are intermediate between the parental species, which would appear to be the case here. There have been several cases of swallows and house martins hybridising and the number of hybrids reported suggests that these two species may be members of the same genus and are closely related, as are the New World cliff and barn swallows (Turner and Rose). Nevertheless, when one considers the elaborate ritual of courtship necessary to induce copulation plus the different types of nest and nest sites used by these birds it puts this capture into a very rare category.  [According to the 1991 Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory report, this individual was caught at Stodmarsh; no date is given in either report.]

 1995A hybrid between these species was trapped at Waterham, near Graveney, on 2nd October. [note below from Kent Bird Report 44 (1995) page 126] SWALLOW X HOUSE MARTIN HYBRIDOctober 2nd 1995 at WaterhamJan Pritchard

I was catching hirundines, pre-roost, on a marsh at Waterham (near Graveney) and my helper, Lis Hamlin, was holding two roost bags, one for Swallows, the other for House Martins - any other species or any adult birds were being put in individual bags as we extracted the birds from the nets. Lis was on the opposite side of the net to me and we were working fast to extract over 100 birds before the light failed and the Dor beetles began flying into the nets. As each bird was extracted, Lis called out the species and placed the bird in the appropriate bag until we came to a bird which, from the front, she identified as a Swallow and I said "No, House Martin, it has a white rump". As soon as we looked closely, we realised that we had something exciting and so bagged it up separately for detailed inspection.


Although I had been looking out for hirundines at the site since early August, the roost only materialised in late September and finally petered out around October 7th-8th. During those few days, we ringed five Sand Martins, 317 Swallows and 136 House Martins as well as our hybrid bird. Most of these were juveniles, and it is possible, that as they arrived so late in the season, they were of continental origin. The birds were taken home to be processed, and Mike Roser and Mike Gould came to confirm the identification and to take photographs of the hybrid bird.


Head shape as Swallow, but bill narrower, with a sharper point, as House Martin. Small, whitish forehead patch with narrow white lines leading to top of eye. Pale orange throat and buffy-grey throat band, but not as dark or as extensive as juvenile Swallow. Whitish belly, with buffy-white undertail coverts, and pale greyish-buff axillaries. The crown had a dark bluish sheen while the back was dark brown with a blue sheen which extended to the marginal coverts but not to the median or greater coverts. The innermost primary on the right wing had a blue sheen and was broader, as if a juvenile feather had been replaced by one of adult type. There were slight pale edges to the tips of the secondaries and the two larger tertials. Wing length 123 mm, tail 68 mm, tail fork 18.5 mm. Weight 19.8 gm. Rump was whitish, as in House Martin, upper tail coverts brown with slightly paler tips. Rectrices were dark brown, lacking the Swallow's white spots. Leg colour medium mauve, toes darker, tarsus diameter 1.8 mm, max. length 4.6 mm. Tarsus slightly feathered on the underside only.


The possibility of Red-rumped Swallow was ruled out by the presence of the orange throat patch and the lack of a pale collar, and the bird was therefore identified as a hybrid Swallow x House Martin. This possibility is mentioned in Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East (Heinzel, Fitter, Parslow: 1965) where it is described as a rare hybrid. An adult, observed in the field over several days, was described by Stephenson and Doran in British Birds, June 1982, page 290. It would certainly be very difficult to pick out one of these hybrids, flying amongst a flock, but was an interesting bird to be able to examine in the hand. Photographs of this bird are shown in Plates 6 and 7 of this report. [copy attached, separate file]


A bird considered to be a Swallow x House Martin hybrid was seen at Dungeness on 15th September.


One seen showing characteristics of this hybrid at Reculver on 25th September. 




1998: Ham Road Pits, near Faversham: a bird considered an “apparent hybrid with Sand Martin”

Andrew Henderson

L'hybride avait des mesures intermédiaires , une gorge et front orange , un croupion blanc .La plupart des hybrides montrent des caractères qui sont des mesures intermédiaires par rapport aux espèces parentales ce qui semblait être le cas ici .

Vu le nombre d'hybrides mentionnés on peut penser que ces deux espèces présentent des gênes très proches .

Cependant lorsqu'on considère le rituel élaboré avant l'accouplement , les types de nids différents ainsi que les sites de nidification , on peut considérer qu'une telle capture d'hybride est classifiée rare  

2/10/95 un hybride capturé à Waterham

Tête d’hirondelle, bec plus étroit avec une pointe plus acérée comme l'hirondelle de fenêtre, petit patch blanc sur le front avec fines lignes blanches conduisant au sommet de l'oeil. Gorge orange pâle et bande grise crème sur la gorge mais pas aussi foncée ni aussi marquée que sur le juvénile de cheminée. Ventre blanchâtre, sous caudales blanches crème. La tête a une apparence bleu foncé, la nuque brune foncée avec une apparence bleue qui s'étendaient jusqu'aux couvertures mais pas jusqu'au médianes ni les grandes.

La rémige primaire interne de l'aile droite avait une apparence bleu et était plus large, comme si une plume de juvénile avait été remplacée par une plume de type adulte .Il y avaient des bordures pâle clair à la pointe des rémiges secondaires et des deux tertiaires les plus larges  Longueur alaire 123 mm, queue 68 mm, filet de queue 18.5 mm, poids 19.8 gm. Croupion blanc comme l'hirondelle fenêtre, sous caudales brunes avec pointes légèrement plus pâles.

Rectrices bruns foncés avec absence de tâches blanches spécifiques à l'hirondelle de cheminée.Pattes mauve moyen , doigts plus sombres , diamètre du tarse 1.8 mm longueur maximum 4.6 mm , tarse légèrement couvert de plume sur la partie du dessous.La possibilité d'un hybride a été confirmée par la présence d'une tache orange à la gorge et le manque d'un col pâle. Cette possibilité est mentionnée chez les oiseaux britanniques et d’Europe, d'Afrique du nord et du moyen orient où il est décrit comme un hybride rare  



Reprise d'oiseaux bagués sur le Plateau de Herve Accenteur mouchet - Prunella modularis

Bagué sur notre site Accenteur mouchet - Prunella modularis 

contrôlé à 321 km. à Hannover Germany.

Port de bague 5 mois 17 jours.





Hybride présumé dans le sud de la France.

 En dyn010_original_100_67_pjpeg_2588464_e7afffb1157fd5e430accb78dab9c43c[1]

Un oiseau recueilli épuisé à St Maximin le 04/08/2006 par  Véronique Mennillo.


Voici quelques photos de l'oiseau au plumage ébouriffé et une photo en compagnie de martinets aussi en revalidation.



Sur la photo des pattes, il semble que les cuisses ne soient pas emplumées comme sur l'hirondelle de fenêtre et sur les autres hybrides que nous avons vus.




Reprise d'oiseaux bagués sur le Plateau de Herve Faucon crecerelle - Falco tinnunculus.

Bagué sur notre site Faucon crecerelle - Falco tinnunculus 

contrôlé à 164 km. à Utrecht Netherlands.

Port de bague 15 jours.





2008 avril


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